Scolari: World Cup places still up for grabs

Felipao has assured those hoping to break into the team that he is far from decided on his final squad and praised both the development of his side and Selecao star Neymar
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has assured his players that he is yet to make a final decision on his World Cup squad.

Felipao made seven changes to the starting line-up for Tuesday’s Glillette Brasil Global Tour victory over Zambia at the Bird’s Nest stadium, handing starts to Diego Cavalieri, Dede, Maxwell, Lucas Leiva, Lucas Moura, Ramires and Alexandre Pato.

And the 64-year-old says places in the group that will attempt to win Brazil’s sixth World Cup, and the first on home soil, are still up for grabs.

"I'm not yet completely decided about the World Cup,” said Scolari after goals from Oscar and Dede had securred a 2-0 triumph in Beijing.

“Before then a lot can happen. Even if I decide something today there's no guarantee that I won't have to make a change tomorrow.

"It was good to have a chance to watch the players who haven’t been with us since the beginning so that I can get an idea of what I can expect from them, but it I have not yet decided who will make the cut."

Scolari, who replaced former coach Mano Menezes last November, went on to hail a ‘great year’ for the Selecao and said he was particularly impressed with the continued development of his side.

"I think that, if we look at the results and the evolution of the team, it has been a great year. After the first few games we were still trying to find the best formation and who should fit that formation… now we have everything.

“We have managed to put the puzzle together and to get 10 victories out of 11 matches… today we are in much better shape and can say that our team is very well balanced."

Neymar has now netted seven goals in his last ten appearances for the Selecao and his coach reserved special praise for the Barcelona forward, lauding his conduct both on and off the field.

"It is very easy to have a player like Neymar in the team. He's so dedicated, he loves what he does, he loves playing football, he has a lot of personality and he conducts himself very well, both on and off the pitch.

“He doesn't behave like s star. He's completely different from what most people might think. I hope he continues to be like that, both for the national team and for Barcelona."

Tuesday's result ended followed up a 2-0 win over South Korea in Seoul on Friday.