Scolari backed by captain and Brazilian FA’s president elect
Thiago Silva guarantees hosts will treat third place play-off against the Netherlands as a final
Brazil captain Thiago Silva (left) and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari (right) during a press conference at Estadio National in Brasilia. Photograph: Robert Ghement / EPA
Brazil’s 200-million strong population was hoping to cheer their country in the World Cup final this weekend, but instead they will have to sit and watch the Selecao fight for third place against the Netherlands.
Scolari’s team bowed out of their own World Cup in the most humiliating fashion on Tuesday when they were hammered 7-1 by Germany. Home fans left the Estadio Mineirao with just half an hour gone and some of those who remained burned a Brazil flag in protest. But the president elect of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) believes ‘Felipao’ should remain in his post.
“For me, he stays,” Marco Polo Del Nero, told the Estado de Sao 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 will meet with Del Nero, and the current president of the CBF Jose Maria Marin following the match in Brasilia. Scolari said he had no idea whether the words of the president in waiting, who takes over next April, meant he would definitely stay on.
“The first phase of my job finishes on Saturday,” Scolari told a press conference in Brasilia on the eve of the third-place match. “After that I will prepare my report and then I will talk with the presidents. They will look at what was right and what was wrong in what I did, but I know in the last year and a half we had several good situations.
“We have to be ashamed of the 7-1. It was a catastrophe, but I have to ask the media — is everything bad because of one result?”
Thiago Silva said Scolari had improved Brazil during his time in charge and he urged the Brazilian people not to “crucify” the beleaguered coach.
“You can’t crucify him for a mistake or any other reason,” the Brazil captain said. “We are together. We are one. Everyone is responsible for what happened.
“The defeat we had wasn’t his fault — the players were playing. My group, we really trust him and we have learned and developed in last year and a half.”
Scolari sees Saturday’s match against the Dutch, who lost to Argentina on penalties in their semi-final, as a chance to lift the spirits of the nation.
“Hopefully we can give the Brazilian people a bit of happiness,” the former Chelsea manager said. ”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.
“I know it’s a much smaller dream than we all wanted, but we have to honour the shirt of the national team.” Silva called on the fans who booed the team off in Belo Horizonte to get behind the team on Saturday.
‘This is a bad time so we need strength from our fans,” the defender said. ”I guarantee that we will play this Saturday’s game like it was the final.”
Silva only did a light training session on Friday, but Scolari confirmed his captain would return to the starting XI after missing the Germany match through suspension.
Neymar, of course, will miss out because of his back problem. As for the rest of the team, Scolari is, unsurprisingly, planning alterations.
“I will change a few things,” the Brazil coach said. “I have some players who have played very little at the World Cup. But I will only put players in who I feel will help us win the match.”