KEIR RADNEDGE in Rio de Janeiro: Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari hailed the most important moment of the Confederations Cup triumph as David Luiz’s remarkable goal-line clearance in the first half of the final.
Brazilwere leading Spain just 1-0 when a goal-bound shot from Pedro was clearly remarkably, from almost underneath the Brazilian crossbar, by the fast-recovering Chelsea defender.
Minutes later Neymar shot Brazil2-0 ahead for a half-time lead in which they duly capitalised in the second half and left the world and European champions struggling to maintain their dignity in defeat.
Scolari said later: “All the games had their good moments but the most important moment of all was the goal-line save by David Luiz. It wasn’t the goals for 2-0 or 3-0 but when he saved that ball.”
Brazil’s coach, reappointed only last November, revealed his delight in the result when he said: “I can’t feel any better than I do. Any possible result would have been great but 3-0 is even better.
“I also believe we had a very good match to be able to dream that we have a path ahead of us and a good team to play in the next World Cup on an equal footing with all other nations who have won the World Cup.”
As after previous games, Scolari was quick to praise the role of the crowd in getting behind the team.
He said: “The main aspect of this Confederations Cup was the crowd supporting us as they did and it is very important that this unity and spirit continues
“Federation president [Jose Maria] Marin, the coaches and all the athletes would like to thank the population and our supporters for supporting the way they have done. It was very important.”
However Scolari cautioned that a great deal of work remained for Brazil to have a serious hope of winning the World Cup in front of their own fans next year.
He said: “We are not still one of 10 big teams. We know we have a good squad but we still have to prove a lot and today we started the path that proves that in 2014 we can have a team to play on terms with all the others.
“When the crowd were singing that ‘the champions are back’ it that was fantastic to hear but we know we still have a long path ahead of us.
“Wining the Confederations Cup opens a path that gives us a possibility for the Brazilian supporters to believe we are setting up a team that will be competitive and can go for the title in the 2014 World Cup.
“When the fans singing that and singing the national anthem some people might say it’s silly but you saw our players singing. They cared because they receive this drive from the fans and want to give a little extra on the pitch.”
Scolari indicated that he was confident he had the nucleus of his World Cup team but this would not prevent him trying out other players over the next year.
Then, with an oblique reference to events on the streets, Scolari added: “We need to be strong in every sense of the world – not only in football but in everything in Brazil.
“I think things are going in the right direction in the hope that we can win the World Cup and also, for the other details, that the best may happen.”