thumbnail Hello,

The 65-year-old says that playing at home is a major advantage for the Selecao, arguing that they will have the benefit of a "12th player"

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has rejected the notion that hosting the World Cup could prove detrimental to the country's hopes of lifting the trophy this summer.

The 65-year-old trainer, who oversaw the Selecao's triumph in South Korea and Japan in 2002, thinks that home support can only aid the nation's bid to win the tournament for a sixth time.

Speaking at a World Cup workshop for coaches in Florianapolis, Scolari said: "It helps us win. Fans, they help us win. Fans are important.

"I have said - even though some journalists don't agree - that I'm not worried about this. We have a 12th player.

"We are playing at home, something that makes the difference. We have a squad that is competitive and of a high quality.

"And having this together with the fans means we can always be the best. Because of this, I'm completely confident that we can get to the final and become champions."

However, Scolari added that there are several nations that should be considered genuine contenders to win the World Cup.

He said: "I don't think that we're going to have three favourites for the title. Today, there are at least eight squads that can fight for the title. Now, one of those favourites is us. Everyone knows it.

"And players, we have really good players [coming to the tournament] that we already know. Like Cristiano [Ronaldo], like [Lionel] Messi, Neymar and others.

"There are a few young players that come here, like a few players from Belgium that are on the global market, like big players that could surprise us. Colombia have a few players that could also be a surprise."

Related

From the web