Football

Scolari to decide on future after third-place playoff

Scolari focused on securing third place on Sunday before he deliberates on his future with the Selecao

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said this morning (Singapore time) that no decision on his leadership of the humiliated national team would be taken until after the World Cup.

Despite the 7-1 thrashing by Germany in yesterday morning's semi-final - the worst result in Brazili's football history - Scolari said he would think about his future only after Sunday morning's third-place play-off.

"We still have work," said Scolari, who started a second stint as Brazil coach in December 2012.

"We have a commitment with the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation) until the end of the World Cup."

"And the end of the World Cup is Saturday," he added, referring to the play-off.

"It is only after this game we will talk with the direction of the CBF, that's when we will decide."

Scolari also tried to put a positive spin on Brazil's performance, pointing out the Selecao had reached the semi-finals for the first time since 2002.

"It's the first time we reached a semi-final since 2002, so maybe our work wasn't so bad," Scolari said.

"We win and we lose together. There are good and bad moments. I know people feel bitterness and shame.

"But life goes on. We shall look ahead to other goals, starting with securing third place on Saturday.

"I thank my players. In one-and-a-half years together, we played 28 games and won 19, drew six and lost three.

"In official games, we won eight, drew two and lost this one - okay, catastrophically. But this episode is over now. We must look forward."

Scolari has faced calls to step down after yesterday morning's debacle in Belo Horizonte.

GO TO HELL

"Go To Hell Felipao," the daily O Dia newspaper said, along with a photo splash of the coach holding up seven fingers during the game.

Scolari was adamant, however, that his side had prepared well.

"This defeat hurt us deeply, but we had a system going in (to the event) and were confident it would get us results," said Scolari, who bemoaned his team's inability to reproduce the form which won last year's Confederations Cup.

"The first 10 minutes we were good, but then we conceded and then there followed those six fatal minutes," he added, referring to the disastrous spell where Brazil conceded four goals in six minutes.

"We have a good team, good players - most did a good job. But we did not have the same level as last year.

"We played pretty well in the opening phase but then it was tough against Chile, and we were not at our best against Colombia but we pulled out a result.

"Against Germany, after those few fateful minutes, we could not dig ourselves out."

Brazil's 2002 World Cup-winning coach said his squad remained a work in progress, compared to Germany.

"You have to progress gradually as the Germans have been doing. They are now in their first final," he said. - AFP.


It’s the first time we reached a semi-final since 2002, so maybe our work wasn’t so bad.

— Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari

All emotions and no tactics


WEAK: Former Brazil striker Giovane Elber (top) says the current players, such as Luiz Gustavo (above), are running on only emotions in the tournament. PHOTOS: AFP, ACTION IMAGES

Former Brazil and Bayern Munich striker Giovane Elber knew Brazil were going to implode, after a conversation with Brazil defender Dante before yesterday morning's (Singapore time) semi-final against Germany.

News had emerged earlier in the tournament, that Brazil started using a sports psychologist to help the team amid worries about their mental state, after goalkeeper Julio Cesar and captain Thiago Silva cried in front of millions of TV viewers.

And Elber said that was a worrying sign of the mental state of the Selecao, who crashed to a shocking 7-1 defeat by the Germans yesterday morning.

"I spoke to Dante the other day, and he told me the team were riding on only emotions," said Elber, who works as a pundit for German TV at this year's World Cup.

"Dante told me they're trying to get through each round with emotions. But we saw the team fall apart after falling behind.

"You might be able to win a match, or maybe two, with emotions, but you're never going to win a World Cup on emotions alone and no tactics."

Germany coach Joachim Loew also agreed that Brazil's players were overwhelmed by the pressure of trying to win the World Cup at home.

Germany, who have had a sports psychologist with the team since 2004, have also gone to great lengths to shield their players from the pressure at the World Cup, setting up their base at a fortress-like, purpose-built compound on a remote beach in rural north-eastern Brazil.

The relaxed and always-composed deportment of the Germany players stands in sharp contrast with the emotions exhibited, and tears shed, by Brazil players - scenes that have amazed some Germans.

"Perhaps the pressure was just too much," Loew said in an interview on the German football association (DFB) website this morning, when asked why Brazil had imploded in the first half.

CRIPPLED

"The expectations on the team in their home country might have crippled them. We know all about that from our own experience in 2006," he said, referring to Germany's heartbreaking 2-0 semi-final loss to Italy that year.

"That's why I feel for my coaching counterpart Luiz Felipe Scolari, why I feel for the Brazil team, and the whole Brazilian nation."

Former Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn said he was astonished to see Brazil players crying on the pitch so often.

"I don't know how much weight the boys from Brazil were carrying on their shoulders," Kahn said.

"This team didn't have enough experience to come to grips with the pressures of this big tournament in their own country.

"We witnessed a collective implosion of the Brazil team."

- Reuters.

Barca doctor: Neymar is recovering well

Neymar is recovering "very well" from the fractured vertebra that ended his World Cup, Barcelona said this morning (Singapore time), after the La Liga club's medical staff examined the Brazil forward at his home.

"The injury is progressing very well and, from Aug 5, the player will continue his treatment and the final stage of his recovery in Barcelona," Barca said on their website (www.fcbarcelona.es).

Club doctors had confirmed the diagnosis made by the Brazilian football federation (CBF), and had agreed the course of treatment with CBF medical staff, they added.

Neymar was injured in a challenge with Colombia defender Juan Zuniga in last week's World Cup quarter-final.

- Reuters.

World Cup