Scolari: Brazil have a duty to win World Cup for fans

The 65-year-old says the team needs to win the tournament on home soil to make up for fans' anger over the cost of the competition

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has called on his team to win the World Cup - for the sake of the host nation.

The five-time champions will kick off football’s biggest tournament when they host Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12.

While World Cup fever has swept the sporting world in recent months, preparations for the competition in the host country have been marred by public protests over the cost of the event and delays in building the stadiums.

And Scolari realises only lifting the trophy will get the fans firmly on side. 

“When Brazil play in the World Cup, people expect them to win it. That's not extra pressure, but that's normal for a Brazilian fan, as well as for a Brazilian footballer. If you realise this, the job will be easier,” Scolari said in an interview with the Times of India.

“I know there are issues [with how the tournament has been organised]. People are not happy. We have a duty to make them happy by winning the cup for them.”

Brazil are one of the pre-competition favourites and Scolari believes the added pressure will help the team by removing any complacency.

“Football in Brazil is a religion,” he said.

“So, yes, we shall be under pressure. But I feel this is good for the footballers. They can never forget their target, they can never forget what they are on the field for.”

Despite leading Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002, Scolari has tasted failure as a coach before when hosts Portugal lost the 2004 European Championship final against Greece.

However, he is hoping to avoid any further slips-ups with the first objective progressing through a group which also includes Mexico and Cameroon.

“Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon – all three can be a potential threat. We need to be on our toes and start the tournament confidently, just like we did in the Confederations Cup,” the 65-year-old said.

“The players did it just a year before in the Confederations Cup. Beating Uruguay, Italy and Spain in a tournament is not an easy job. They did it perfectly.”