Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolariinsisted his side werestill a work in progressdespite their Confederations Cupmasterclass against world championsSpain.Scolari, the architect of Brazil’slast World Cup victory in 2002, wasthe proudest man in the Maracanaon Sunday as his remodelled teamoverwhelmed the fabled Spaniards3-0 courtesy of two goals from Fredand a sublime effort from Neymar.With the World Cup on Braziliansoil less than 12 months away, itwas a result which will infuse Scolari’steam with belief that a recordsixth World Cup crown is there forthe taking if all goes to plan nextyear.
A delighted Scolari howeverwas more circumspect when askedto discuss the signifi cance of histeam’s mesmerising display.“We are still not a team that iscomplete, we know that we havea good group but we still haveto prove a lot. But today, we embarkedon the path to 2014,” saidScolari, reappointed seven monthsago for a second stint in charge.“It was fantastic to hear thecrowd singing ‘the champions areback’ but a long path stretchesahead of us. Yet I am sure peoplewill now respect Brazil a littlemore.”“In the past 30 days we havebeaten four former world championsin France (in a pre-eventtune-up), Italy, Uruguay and nowSpain,” he remarked matter offactly.
Brazil began the tournamentwith the words of Pele ringingin their ears, with the legendaryNo.10 questioning whether Scolari’steam were good enough toprevail.Almost as important as the levelof performance on the pitch wasthe re-bonding of Brazil’s teamwith their fans, Scolari said.“My team pay from the bottomof their hearts. We will now beworking with a little bit more trustknowing we have the capacity andmaybe rise above the level even oftoday’s match,” he told reporters,explaining he just wants “to set upa competitive team which can gofor the title at the World Cup.”
“I think we are improving, thereis more trust and the supportersgive it back and that is very nice.When we come together we becomestrong.“Apart from the quality of all ofour players we had the crowd behindus and I believe that is veryimportant, that unity, that spirit.The extent to which Brazil nowcan use the intervening 12 monthsto oil an even leaner machine intime for their fi rst World Cup hostingsince 1950 will be of fascinationto students of the internationalgame. AFP