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2:00 PM UTC Jun 26, 2018
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6:00 PM UTC Jun 26, 2018
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Scolari hits back at Brazil's critics

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari rounded on his critics ahead of the quarterfinal against Colombia, telling some journalists to "go to hell."

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Scolari, angered by media criticism after the nervy penalty shootout win over Chile and the emotional reaction of some players to it, insisted the host nation remained firmly on course to win the World Cup.

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"Do we have one hand on the Cup? Yes," the coach said at a combative news conference.

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"We are going on to the fifth step [of the World Cup] now. There are seven in total.

"Our supporters don't expect anything different. They want us to tell them what we want, how we want to win. It shouldn't be any different."

Scolari blasted media critics who questioned his use of a psychologist in the aftermath of the Chile win -- a move intended to help the players cope with the burden of expectation -- saying they were "wrong."

Star player Neymar had also hit out at the criticism, denying that the Brazil squad had any "emotional problem."

Scolari blasted reports that he had allegedly told a small group of journalists that he wished he could make one change to his squad.

He said that was a misinterpretation, adding: "I said at this time in the competition, I could add a player for the different matches from now onwards.

"All the coaches would like to add someone. They would add because of the characteristics of the next team, but you have 23. We know they [the Brazil squad] would take us to victory."

He explained the fact that he met that small group of journalists by saying: "There's no way I can go down to talk to everyone. Those who were not invited... it was because maybe I don't like you that much.

"Men can't be jealous. If you like it, you like it. If you don't, you don't. Just go to hell."

Meanwhile, captain Thiago Silva dismissed concerns about the amount of emotion shown by some of Brazil's players in the aftermath of the Chile win.

"I am emotional and it's a natural thing for human beings to be emotional," he said. "It doesn't affect me at any time on the pitch. People are saying some silly things."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.


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