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Luiz Felipe Scolari challenges Brazil to end 2014 World Cup campaign with a win

Luiz Felipe Scolari challenges Brazil to end 2014 World Cup campaign with a win

Posted by Juan Gavasa on July 12, 2014

Luiz Felipe Scolari has challenged his Brazil players to restore some pride to the nation by ending the World Cup with a victory in the third-place play-off.

Brazil take on Holland in Brasilia aware that a second successive defeat would only increase public anger following Tuesday’s humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat against Germany.

Unsurprisingly, Scolari has taken the brunt of the criticism and is desperate to end the tournament — and most  probably his reign as coach — with a consoling victory.

‘I know it’s a much smaller dream that we all wanted, but we have to honour the shirt of the national team,’ said the 65-year-old.

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

Brazilian great Zico has called on Scolari to quit following the humiliation in Belo Horizonte and also accused the coach of complacency after their Confederations Cup triumph in 2013.

‘They stayed focused entirely on the success of the Confederations Cup. They kept the same formation and the same team. Everyone had a year to work out exactly how to play against Brazil.’

In the face of this criticism, Brazil’s players have a chance tonight to show that semi-final was an aberration and not reflective of their talents.

They will at least be buoyed by the return of captain Thiago Silva, who was suspended in Belo Horizonte. Silva, safe in the knowledge he cannot be blamed for the disastrous defeat issued a rallying cry to Brazilian fans to put aside their anger and support the team.

‘This is a bad time so we need strength from our fans,' said the defender. ‘I guarantee that we will play this game like it was the final.’ 

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