Felipe Scolari wants Brazil to restore pride against Holland

By Updated at 2014-07-12 17:09:03 +0000


Luiz Felipe Scolari wants his Brazil players to restore some pride to the nation by ending the World Cup with a victory. Another defeat, in Saturday’s third-place play-off against Holland, would increase the public’s anger towards Scolari following the 7-1 semi-final humiliation against Germany and the coach is desperate to end the summer with a show of strength.

“I know my career will be marked by this defeat but we have an obligation to move on and think about the next goal, which in this case is the match for third place on Saturday in Brasília,” the Brazil coach said. “I know it’s a much smaller dream than we all wanted but we have to honour the shirt of the national team.”

Scolari will meet officials from the Brazilian Football Confederation after the match to discuss his future. On Friday the confederation’s president-elect, Marco Polo Del Nero, said Scolari should keep his job because of the good work he has done during his 19 months in charge.

“To me, he stays,” he told the Estado de São Paulo newspaper. “What happened was a tactical error. That was the problem. But we all make mistakes. It can happen to anyone. The important thing is that he did a good job. The campaign and the preparations were good. A base exists.”

Scolari, too, insists he has done a good job with the players he has at his disposal. “We made the semi-finals, the top four teams in the world,” he said. “And there were a lot of good teams that were knocked out before us.

Some supporters at the Estádio Mineirão for the Germany match burned a Brazilian flag on Tuesday night and many left after 29 minutes, when the hosts were 5-0 down. Those who remained booed their team off at half-time and then in the second half they cheered and clapped the Germans as a sign of their disapproval towards the Seleção.

The captain, Thiago Silva, wants the home fans inside the stadium in Brasília to get behind their team. “This is a bad time so we need strength from our fans,” said the defender, who returns to the starting XI after missing the Germany game through suspension. “I guarantee that we will play this Saturday’s game like it was the final.”

The Holland coach, Louis van Gaal, also spoke of the match’s importance on Friday, saying he wants to sign off with a win to become the first coach of the Dutch national team to go unbeaten in normal and extra time at a World Cup.

“We haven’t lost a match,” he said. “I have two and a half days to analyse and watch Brazil and I don’t want to leave anything to chance so I have been focusing on Brazil and I hope I can prepare my players in such a way that we can play a good match, win the game and write history.”

Van Gaal remains convinced, though, that the World Cup was set up to favour Brazil. “I will stick to the facts,” he said. “The facts are that Brazil started first. And Brazil again has played first again and we played a day later.

“These are the facts. I am not going to beat around the bush. Then you know what the implications are if that is the case. The question is why? I think Scolari should think about that if he wants to do that and is allowed to do that.”

Van Gaal’s annoyance has clearly been heightened by the fact that Brazil have had another day to prepare for the third-place play-off. “We have one day less than Brazil,” Van Gaal added. “We have to get into shape in two and a half days, which physically is hard.”