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By ESPN Staff
Dec 7, 2006

World Cup was not defensive, says Parreira

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Former Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira on Wednesday refuted the suggestion that this year's World Cup in Germany was defensive.

Parreira, who led a disappointing Brazil side that went out in the quarter-finals against France, said teamwork had prevailed rather than individuals.

'The World Cup was not horrible, it was different,' he said during a speech at a Congress in Rio de Janeiro.

'A lot of people have asked questions about the quality of the football at the World Cup. But it was the collective side which prevailed.

'Most of the teams played in a compact formation, with the defence and the midfield close to each other.

'The football was not defensive, it was a case of teamwork prevailing.'

Parreira bombarded his audience with statistics but said there were no major tactical innovations in the tournament.

He has been criticised for being overcautious and failing to get the best out of Brazil's talented team, who started as hot favourites to win a sixth world title.

However, Parreira, who has taken on the job of coaching 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa, avoided talking about Brazil's performance apart from a brief reference to media criticism.

'There's a Spanish proverb which says that talking about bulls and bullfighting is not the same as standing in the middle of the ring,' he said.