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The former Middlesbrough playmaker believes the Selecao are going through a "transitional phase" under their 64-year-old boss, but has backed the ex-Chelsea manager to succeed

Juninho Paulista has said that his former boss Luis Felipe Scolari has a very different challenge with Brazil ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

The former Middlesbrough playmaker is currently general manager at Ituano, the Brazilian club where he started his career, and has suggested that Scolari faces a difficult task with an untested and inexperienced squad.

“The generation of players that had won things has moved on, and we don’t know whether the up-and-coming talents can handle the pressure,” the 40-year-old told Fifa.com. “It’s another kind of challenge for Felipao [Scolari] to deal with."

Juninho, who won 49 caps for his country, has also said that European football is "evolving", whereas it is "going backwards" in Brazil, pointing to the more physical nature of youth football in his home country as opposed to the technically gifted players emerging from Spain and Germany.

Despite this, he has suggested Scolari, under whom he won the 2002 World Cup, has the ability to unite the current crop of players.

“Scolari was really good at building up people’s confidence,” he revealed. “He has such a good feel for those things.”

Brazil's next match is a friendly against Italy on March 21.

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