Wednesday 13 December 2017

Scolari aims to restore shattered pride against Dutch

Luiz Felipe Scolari wants his Brazil players to restore some pride to the nation by ending the World Cup with a victory.

Brazil's hopes of winning the World Cup on home soil were dashed in the most brutal fashion on Tuesday when Germany hammered them 7-1 in the semi-finals.

A wave of anger towards Scolari and his players followed the humiliation, but the Brazil coach rejected calls for him to resign.

The defiant 65-year-old held up a sheet of paper during a press conference that followed the defeat, detailing his record of just three losses in 28 matches.

Another defeat in tonight's third-place play-off against Holland would increase the public's anger towards Scolari, but he is desperate to end the summer with a win for the hurt people of his football-mad nation.

"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 Brasilia," the Brazil coach said.

"I know it's a much smaller dream that we all wanted, but we have to honour the shirt of the national team."

Scolari will meet with officials from the Brazilian Football Confederation following the match in the capital to discuss his future.

Brazilian football great Zico called on Scolari to quit following the hammering in Belo Horizonte.

But Scolari 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."

Neymar, who missed the semi-final because of a back injury, tried to raise spirits among the players by visiting the squad at their Teresopolis base on Thursday.

Captain Thiago Silva wants the home fans inside the stadium in Brasilia to get behind their team this weekend. "This is a bad time so we need strength from our fans," said the defender, who returns to the starting XI after sitting out the Germany game through suspension.

"I guarantee that we will play this Saturday's game like it was the final."


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