Brazil have 'one hand on Cup': Scolari

By Peter Jenson
Felipe Scolari. Pic: Getty Images

Coach Felipe Scolari has told his critics to "go to hell," and insisted that "Brazil still have one hand on the World Cup."

Scolari has defended his decision to sit down with a small group of journalists after the narrow win over Chile, and his use of a psychologist to help his nervy players.

"Brazil still has its hand on the cup. There are seven steps and now we are going onto the fifth step," Scolari said.

He also said his team would struggle less against Colombia in the quarter final on Friday in Fortaleza.

"Chile have real strength and spirit as a group but Colombia have better players," said the 65-year-old coach.

"They are a better team but they don't go to war. Our wars are with Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. The matches against Colombia are happy friendly matches.

"It's difficult against Colombia but there is no war."

Scolari did go to war with the local press after being criticised by reporters for selective briefing of journalists after the win against Chile.

"Jealousy among Men? Please! Men should not be jealous. These are my friends. If you don't mind me talking to them then OK and if you don't like it then you can go to hell," he said.

"I have always spoken to my friends about football. And the conversation was not about who plays or does not play."

Scolari will hope his feisty performance inspires his players to something similar on Friday in the Estadio Castelao.

"Five of the last 16 games went to extra time and that shows how close it is now. You no longer have the certainty that team A will go through easily.

"Argentina beat Iran 1-0 and when did the goal come? It came right at the end. These teams practice playing in 50 metres of the pitch and it's hard to play against that."

Scolari said there had been huge over-reaction to the way players cried after the dramatic victory against Chile and defended his use of psychologist Regina Brandao to help them cope with the pressure.

"It was reported that we had an emergency session with a psychologist. What rubbish. Our work with the psychologist is preplanned and she will be back with us on Sunday."