Scolari dismisses burden of expectation
By Football News
Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said the host factor in the 2014 World Cup will be no burden for his side.
Scolari claimed having the home fans in their corner would add an extra element to his already strong team, when the World Cup finals kick off in June.
The 65-year-old, who led Brazil to their fifth World Cup crown in 2002, said the passion of the Brazilian supporters will play a vital role in their success.
"It helps us win. Fans, they help us win. Fans are important," Scolari said.
"I have said even though some journalists don't agree, I'm not worried about this (burden of expectation). We have a 12th player.
"We are playing at home, something that makes the difference.
"We have a squad that is competitive and of a high quality.
"And having this together with the fans we can always be the best. Because of this, I'm completely confident that we can get to the final and become champions."
Scolari said Brazil's experience of hosting, and winning, the Confederations Cup in 2013 proved his point that the locals can influence their national side.
"We started this at the Confederations Cup...our players, with participation from the masses and with love, and the involvement as well on the pitch and even before the start of the game.
"They participate. They get them excited, they are motivated with the support of the masses, and this is what we need.
"So we already had this with the Confederations Cup and we hope that every day going forward we have this support, and that it just gets bigger."
Scolari said the rising talent in squads such as Belgium and Colombia make the race to win the title a wide open one.
"I don't think that we're going to have three favourites for the title," he said.
"Today, there are at least eight squads that can fight for the title. Now, one of those favourites is us. Everyone knows it.
"And players, we have really good players (coming to the tournament) that we already know. Like Cristiano (Ronaldo), like (Lionel) Messi, Neymar, and others.
"There are a few young players that come here, like a few players from Belgium that are on the global market, like big players that could surprise us.
"Colombia has a few players that could also be a surprise."