KEIR RADNEDGE in SAO PAULO: Paulo Felipe Scolari marked the third day of his second coming as manager of Brazil by setting out his ambition to win both the Confederations Cup next year and then the World Cup in 2014.
But he cautioned Brazilian fans that performance in the Confed Cup was more important than the result as he also set himself the target of rebuilding the national team’s relationship with home fans.
That may prove a forlorn task if Brazil suffer the disappointment of not winning next year’s rehearsal for the main event.
‘Felipao’ [‘Big Phil’] was the focus of questioning as the seven coaches took in the outcome of the draw undertaken at the Anhembi Convention Centre in Sao Paulo. The one absentee was the coach of the African champions since their identity will not be known until after the Nations Cup final in South Africa in February.
Scolari said: “We open the tournament in Brasilia against Japanand we will be expected to win. Beyond that the expectation of all of Brazil is that we will have a very competitive team so we can make the Confederations Cup not only a rehearsal but a check-up which will enable us to fully prepared for the World Cup.”
He was pleased to be in the tougher group – also with Mexico and Italy– because he believed that Brazil needed difficult tests to hone the team to be at their sharpest in 2014.
This meant regaining both the trust and the support of fans irritated by successive failures in World Cup, Copa America and the 2012 Olympic Games.
Scolari said: “We will be working with our players and staff to encourage anyone in our population who does not get involved with football to become involved and for all those who are involved to believe more and to give us their full support.
“The players are the ones who are central to ensure that, especially within Brazil, we create a spirit of happiness so the population and the national team are in harmony once more.”
One of Scolari’s themes over the past two days has been a need to build a team which blends youth and experience thus veteran Ronaldinho may yet dream again of starring at a World Cup just as he did when Brazil won under Scolari in 2002.
As Scolari said: “We will all do our utmost with the single purpose of winning the World Cup and winning the Confederations Cup. That is our goal.”
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