4 July 2014 03:03
Brazil captain Thiago Silva dismissed concerns about his team’s mental strength on Thursday, ahead of their quarter-final versus Colombia.
The Brazilian media have been focused on the emotional displays by Silva, Daviz Luiz, Neymar and Julio Cesar during Brazil’s round-of-16 penalty-shootout victory over Chile with former internationals Zico and Carlos Alberto questioning the team’s readiness to win the FIFA World Cup.
Silva and his team-mates have also been noticeably affected by emotion during the singing of Brazil’s national anthem in their four games so far.
Brazil have brought in a psychologist during the tournament to speak to the players but Silva believes his side is reacting in a normal manner.
“I think we are good psychologically. We are doing what we love to do,” the defender at a media conference.
“There was a lot of pressure to win that match so we know we had to give all we had but when you do things with a lot of will and desire there is no way to not be emotional.”
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari also hit out at criticism of his players’ mental state on Thursday, and Silva claimed that as long as the 65-year-old is behind them, the host nation will be ready to play.
Colombia will be Brazil’s next hurdle as they attempt to win the World Cup on home soil, with the two South American sides set to complete a quarter-final in Fortaleza on Friday.
“When those things are said we have to look away. The leader is beside me, he is the commander and backs me so I don’t care what people from the outside say,” Silva said.
“I just need to think about my job. This is the way I am, I am very emotional and this a very natural thing. This doesn’t affect me at any time on the pitch.
“I don’t think the emotion makes anything more difficult. I have overcome difficult moments. I had tuberculosis and had my life at risk, but I am a champion on and off the pitch and I show maturity and respect.”