World Cup: Scolari says future yet to be decided

Luiz Felipe Scolari is preparing a report for the Brazilian Football Confederation. Picture: AFP/Getty
Luiz Felipe Scolari is preparing a report for the Brazilian Football Confederation. Picture: AFP/Getty
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BRAZIL manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said his future had yet to be decided and urged optimism despite the hosts suffering another heavy defeat in their final match of the World Cup.

After the 3-0 defeat to the Dutch which saw Brazil finish a disappointing fourth Scolari said he would file a report to the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) as planned and leave it up to them to decide his fate.

“That has to be decided by the president of the confederation,” Scolari said when asked about his future. “When we started we had a deadline to make our jobs available at the end of the World Cup regardless of the result,” added the 65-year-old. “And that is exactly what we’re going to do with a final report for the president. Now we have to prepare our report and tell the president what happened and allow him to analyse this and life goes on.”

The president-elect of the CBF, Marco Polo Del Nero, said on Friday that Scolari should keep his job because of the good work he did during his 19 months in charge.

Scolari said he had no reason to criticise his players after Saturday’s performance in the third-place play-off match and there was no need for them to be mentally scarred.

Anything other than a sixth World Cup crown, and a first on home soil, was always going to be a failure but the way Brazil capitulated to the Germans in the semi-final was truly shocking and their defence again performed woefully on Saturday. “Losing 7-1 [to Germany] we have already spoken about this many times,” said Scolari. “It was the worst in history, I know that, but we have to see the positive things. This generation is also going to be seen as the generation that started preparations for 2018 as one of the top four teams in the world. I am feeling sad but I tell the fans that any leader, or any person leading a group or nation, if they don’t convey optimism, then there’s nothing we can do.”

Of the 23 players who were in Brazil’s World Cup squad, only a handful have a realistic chance of making it to Russia in 2018 – if Brazil qualify, which is not guaranteed. Players like Fred, Jo, Paulinho, Fernandinho and Dani Alves rarely looked good enough for the five-times world champions and may never play for Brazil again. Fred has announced his retirement from international football.

Dante, Maxwell, Maicon, Fernandinho and Hernanes will all be at least 33 and are unlikely to be part of future plans. Two of the three goalkeepers will be 35 and first choice Julio Cesar will be 39.

The future team will be based around forward Neymar, the one indisputably world-class player in the squad. If there is any cause for optimism it is in midfield, where Oscar and Willian are 23 and 25, respectively. Bernard is still only 21 and has time to improve, especially if he leaves the wilderness of the Ukraine where he plays his club football.

If they can overcome the trauma of this tournament they still have a chance to shine.