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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 26, 2013

Scolari hails Brazil's "crucial moment"

Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has hailed the "crucial moment" against Uruguay as the chance for Brazil to begin healing as violent protests continue to rock the nation.

• Marcotti: Brazil's challenge
• Alvarez: Familia Scolari spirit
• Duarte : Protest passion

However, the former Chelsea and Portugal manager's words could fall on deaf ears with as many as 100,000 people expected to again protest against the government.

The home nation faces its South American rival at the Estadio Mineirao on Wednesday for the chance to move into the final of the Confederations Cup.

But with protestors expected to march on the stadium before the match, Scolari said the joy of victory could be more far-ranging than a chance to be named champions.

"This is a crucial moment for the Brazilian team. But we need to take one more step forward, to defeat Uruguay and reach the final," Scolari told the BBC.

"Brazilians have been with us and everything we have done to build a better country will not be in vain if we can keep this run up.

"We must find a way of working together, not fighting with each other. Maybe in five or ten years' time we can have a better country."

Scolari said his squad's form in the Confederations Cup made him confident that the team was beginning to rebuild the national team's 'history'.

However, he did concede there was still work to be done to catch some of the best teams in the world.

"We are on the right track," he said.

"We are earning back the history of the Brazil team. But we still have a long way to go to say we are as good as the top four or five teams in the word.

"We are better in comparison to February when we started in my first match. We have a good foundation. In this tournament we have had tough matches and the group has improved and is more self confident.

"We know the managers of the other teams have always respected us because Brazil has always been a great team. But maybe they weren't 100% sure we would be strong this time."

Uruguay now stand in the way of Scolari and Brazil's continuing work to improve, with La Celeste's deadly trio of Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani expected to cause major problems for the home side.

But a resolute Scolari said Uruguay had just as much to fear from Brazil.

"Uruguay have so many good players but they probably fear our players as much as we fear theirs," he added.

"Cavani has been the top striker in Italy for the last few seasons, Forlan was the best player in the 2010 World Cup and Suarez is one of the best player in the English league. That alone shows how careful you have to be with them. They are top quality players, our team knows that."

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