Scolari touts national pride

Updated: 2013-08-15 08:02

By Reuters in Basel, Switzerland (China Daily)

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Coach asks Brazilian players to put their country before money

Brazil's players must keep playing regularly at club level - even if it is in the "10th division" - and put their country ahead of financial concerns if they want to keep their places on the team for the World Cup, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said on Tuesday.

'Big Phil' fired off the warnings as the team reassembled for the first time since its spectacular Confederations Cup win in June, telling the players there was still a long road ahead until the 2014 World Cup.

He said Brazil's players needed to carefully consider their club careers and go where they were likely to get a regular game, rather than making decisions based purely on financial considerations.

"A player who wants to play for Brazil has to think about the national team and not just think about the monetary side," Scolari told reporters on the eve of a friendly away to Switzerland, the first of the season.

"The spirit we showed at the Confederations Cup was absolutely spectacular. But now it's over and we're on a new path.

"The athletes have to remember that a lot can happen - players not getting regular games, transfers, players dropping out of favor at their clubs ...

"The players know that nobody has made sure of their place. We played well (at the Confederations Cup), but they have to play at their clubs so they can be picked.

"Some players have credit in the bank, but credit can dry up and that is how it has to be," he said.

Five-time champion Brazil won all five of its matches at the Confederations Cup in June, capping its run with a 3-0 demolition of world and European champion Spain in the final.

Brazil's performance resurrected public confidence in the team as it aims for a sixth world title on home soil next year.

Scolari said he was especially concerned about the situation of goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who has not settled on his future after playing for Queen's Park Rangers last season.

"I'm worried and he knows that," said Scolari. "If possible, he needs to try to play; it doesn't matter if it's in the second division, third division or 10th division.

"I want to be able to see how they are playing and if they are in the right state."

Scolari said that three or four players in particular are under the microscope.

"I still have three or four situations I have to analyze and consider whether there are players who are better than the ones we have now.

"We have six or seven games to see if it's worth it or not."

Scolari also said winning the Confederations Cup was not particularly a good omen, as previous wins were followed by disappointing quarterfinal exits at the following year's World Cup.

Scolari touts national pride

(China Daily 08/15/2013 page23)