'I'm totally convinced Portugal will overcome Czech Republic' - Scolari

The 2002 World Cup winner is certain that the Seleccao will make the semi-finals but believes Paulo Bento should focus on team-work rather than rely solely on Cristiano Ronaldo
Former Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is confident that Portugal will get the better of the Czech Republic in Thursday’s Euro 2012 quarter-final and advance to the final four.

Paulo Bento's side overcame an opening matchday defeat to Germany in Group B to beat Denmark 3-2 and Netherlands 2-1 to secure second spot in their section to force a clash with the Czechs.

The winner of that match will go on to meet either Spain or France in the semi-finals and Scolari believes the Seleccao will have a chance to fight for a place in the finale.
Portugal v Czech Republic

“Portugal will get through another round," Scolari told Portuguese sports paper A Bola. "I’m totally convinced they’ll overcome the Czech Republic and go through to the semi-finals. Besides, I felt they would beat Netherlands and that’s what happened.”

The veteran Brazilian coach, who took charge of Portugal between 2003 and 2008, went on to praise the current Seleccao trainer.

“This campaign has been good and it has been a victory for Paulo Bento, the Portuguese Football Federation and the players. The work that Bento has done is fantastic.”

Star player Cristiano Ronaldo has been lauded after his two goals guided the team past Netherlands and into the last eight, but Scolari urged the side to focus on the collective rather than individual players.

“Team-work is Portugal’s strength,” he said. "Don’t think or hope that Ronaldo can do everything on his own because nobody wins a match that way."

Finally, Scolari, who now coaches Brazilian club Palmeiras admitted he will try and catch the encounter between his former team and the Czech Republic.

“I’ll watch the game if I can. I’ve got a match with Palmeiras in the Copa do Brasil, but it’s only night time and there should be time to watch Portugal," he explained. "If it’s not possible I’ll be supporting them. As always.”

Portugal's clash with the Czechs on Thursday kicks off at 20:45CET in Warsaw.