Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has hit out at local journalists, who have been critical of many aspects of the Selecao’s World Cup last-16 victory over Chile.
The hosts needed penalty kicks to overcome their South American rivals and ahead of Friday’s quarter-final with Colombia this was the topic that dominated the press conference.
Scolari’s side have come under fire for many different reasons, ranging from captain Thiago Silva crying after the Chile success, to their use of a psychologist and the coach’s impromptu get together with a handful of members of the press.
“If you don’t like my leadership, you can go to hell,” the coach told the press after a lengthy rant.
The tension mounted from the first question, when Scolari was probed about claims he had said he would like to have changed a member of the squad.
“That’s not what I said,” he stated. “What I said was that at this time of the competition, I could add a player with different characteristics for the matches we have forthcoming. If you could ask all the coaches, for one reason or another, they would like to add someone.
“And when you add someone then you have to replace someone. But when you name you’re 23, that’s what you have, you have you’re 23 to compete for the cup.
“We could work in a different way or with a different tactic. If it were the first match, I wouldn’t change anything.”
The bullish nature of Brazil’s challenge for a sixth world title was also challenged, though the former Chelsea boss was unrepentant over this.
Scolari explained: “I asked Paulinho if he wanted us to play our challenge down. He said: ‘No professor, no.’
“We’re going onto the fifth step – there are seven. Our population, our supporters, don’t expect anything different. They want us to tell them what we want and how we’re going to get it.”
When the subject of Colombia was breeched, the coach forecast a very different match to the one just past.
“It’s an issue of technique,” Scolari stated. “Colombia are more technical. Chile are better grouped at the back and have strength and play with spirit.
“Colombia are a better team, a much better team. But they play playable football. There’s no war with Colombia. Our wars are with Uruguay, Chile and Argentina.
“Our matches against Colombia are friendly, happy matches. They have strength and energy, each team seeks their space, but there’s no big rivalry.
“And when we don’t have that war, our players feel more at ease.”
Brazil’s last four encounters against Colombia have all ended as draws and another tight encounter is forecast for Castelao on Friday.