SANDRA AIGNER / AIPS* in DUBAI: Brazil coach Alexandre Gallo insisted that Brazil were the best team at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 despite their quarter-final exit to Mexico.

Gallo also thought that his team had deserved to win the match even though they conceded the first goal and had to work hard to equalise and earn the shootout which they lost, ultimately, by 11-10.

He said: “We tried a lot to play our best football. Mexico had to work hard in the defence. They did not have many chances. I think we had deserved [to win]. But that is football.”

“With all respect, our team are the best in the competition. But football is a sport of passion. It’s not always the best team who win.”

Gallo took pride in his belief that Brazil had been the most positive team in the finals compared with the cautious approach of everyone else

Positive thinking

He said: “Most of teams here are playing defensive football; Brazil play an attacking one. In Brazil we have another thinking. We want all the time to win. That’s why Brazil are, most of the time, champion of the youth competitions.

“The boys have played 29 games and won 22 of them. So this team are unbeaten.”

Gallo’s analysis was echoed by his players. Mosquito, who failed with his decisive last penalty, said: “We had the ball all the time and Mexico were defending the whole game but that is football.” Midfielder Danilo thought: “We controlled the game for 90 minutes.”

Mexico coach Raul Gutierrez saw it differently, praising his own defence and his entire entire because they  “fought for every ball.”

He said: “During training, we were always telling our players about the possibility of penalties. I told them before the shootout to be calm, to be relax and just do the things we did in the training.

“After the first game against Nigeria. I tried to tell them that this had been a game full of errors. I tried to made them all understand that we needed just to play the football we played before. We revived our players and after that we have had good results.

“I am very proud of all them. They showed great personality. I always said that they are good, now we could show it to everyone.”


* AIPS, the international sports journalists association, is running a Young Reporters course at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 with the support of the local organising committee and FIFA

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