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Scolari hails impact of 2001 Honduras defeat
Nov 16, 2013 1:58 PM EST
Luiz Felipe Scolari has revealed a 2001 defeat to Honduras contributed to the success Brazil enjoyed in his first stint as coach.
Scolari's side lost 2-0 in a fiery Copa America quarter-final 12 years ago, which saw both teams reduced to 10 men.
Ahead of Brazil's friendly against Honduras in Miami this weekend, the 65-year-old has suggested the loss proved a turning point ahead of his nation's successful 2002 FIFA World Cup campaign.
"It was not one of the biggest defeats of my career; actually it was great that the loss happened because after that I took a few decisions that changed my trajectory with Brazil," he said.
"Sometimes, you have particular defeats that open your eyes for many things. That defeat in 2001 opened my eyes to several things I needed to change. I did it, and Brazil were world champions in 2002.
Scolari is adamant the current Brazil side is not over-reliant on Barcelona striker Neymar.
"We don't depend on Neymar," he continued. "He is today one of the world's stars and one of the best footballers, but we have other alternatives.
"Other players are important and helpful to explore Neymar's quality and, if for some reason Neymar can't play, we have other players with different character and characteristics, who are also important for the team.
"In terms of Neymar's move , I think it was great for him to have left Brazil and going to Barcelona.
"In Spain, they are now saying he is one of the best in the world, something that we are saying for a long time in Brazil, and now in Europe they are realising that.
"He is playing in a different style there, playing with good technical players and he is learning a lot, and also changing some things in his football, which will be good for us in the World Cup."
Scolari took charge of Brazil once again in 2012, having departed shortly after leading the team to World Cup glory in 2002.