Brazil have 'one hand on World Cup' insists Scolari ahead of Colombia quarter-final tie
Last Updated: 04/07/14 11:26am
Luiz Felipe Scolari insists Brazil "have one hand" on the World Cup heading into their quarter-final clash with Colombia.
Brazil go into the tie at the Estadio Castelao on the back of a wave of negativity and have been criticised for some unconvincing play in the group stages while only scraping through to the last eight after a penalty shootout win against Chile.
But Scolari insisted his team are destined to win the World Cup before the tournament started and he is sticking by his words.
"Do we have one hand on the Cup? Yes," the Brazilian said in a fiery press conference.
"Don't forget those statements (I made about winning the World Cup before it started). They were all fantastic. Those statements could not be any different now.
"We are going on to the fifth step now. There are seven in total."
Brazil go into the match with criticism from some of the nation's biggest names still ringing in their ears. Legends Zico and Carlos Alberto have led the attacks on Scolari's squad in recent days.
Of particular annoyance to the two greats is the outpouring of emotion shown by the current squad at this World Cup.
Neymar, Julio Cesar and David Luiz all broke down in tears after the shootout win against Chile while Neymar also looked overcome with emotion when he sang the national anthem earlier in the tournament.
I think Brazil have been absolutely shocking and if they win the World Cup then they will probably be the worst team to ever win it.
Sky Sports' Paul Merson
Carlos Alberto, Brazil's 1970 World Cup-winning captain, said recently: "The team is crying when they're singing the national anthem, when they get hurt, when they take penalties. Stop crying!"
Brazil's psychologist Regina Brandao visited the squad at their Teresopolis base on Tuesday, but Scolari denied that was anything out of the ordinary.
"It was scheduled and organised. Please stop thinking (otherwise)," the former Chelsea manager snapped when asked about Brandao's visit.
"I admire psychologists. She has participated in a very nice way. That's it. The players love to talk. She isn't even paid anything to do this."
The one thing Scolari has to be happy about is the fact that Neymar is fit and ready to take on Colombia.
The Barcelona star suffered knee and thigh injuries during the bruising battle against Chile, but he is ready to go.
Scolari will have to make at least one change for the quarter-final though as Luis Gustavo is suspended.
The 65-year-old is likely to recall Tottenham midfielder Paulinho although he could draft in Napoli defender Henrique instead.
Scolari is wary that whatever team he picks, his men will come up against the form team of the tournament so far.
Colombia swept through their group with three wins and they easily saw off Uruguay at the Maracana on Saturday to qualify for the last eight.
They also have James Rodriguez, the tournament's top scorer, and the in-form Juan Cuadrado, but Scolari has no specific plans to stop the duo.
"There will not be any special marking on James Rodriguez nor on Cuadrado," he added.
Overall, Scolari is braced for a tough match against Colombia.
"Chile had strength, they played with spirit and they have a game dynamic which is very difficult to play against, but Colombia is a much better team, and they play good football," Scolari added.