Salvador, June 23 (Reuters) - Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said he hopes to recreate his famous “family” of players who won the 2002 World Cup but warned that off-field as well as on-field pressures could adversely affect his young squad.
Scolari told reporters at a Confederations Cup press conference that playing the 2014 World Cup at home would come with its own “massive pressure”.
He said: ”This is different (than in 2002) because they are young, you have all that paraphanelia, it is harder to control. There are 500 agents, 500 people involved in commercials and marketing.
“Being with the Brazil team here in Brazil is terrible. We can’t go outside, the players are prisoners. They can’t go to the beach, they have no freedom at all. So it is harder to manage.”
The veteran manager was famous for taking a discredited squad struggling through qualification in 2001 and instilling in them a sense of belief and unity.
The group became so close that Scolari was known as the father figure in the “Scolari family” and they are all still close today.
Scolari, 67, said: ”In 2002 the team was universally slated before the World Cup so the group came together.
”Even today we are still so friendly, so, so close that we know how important that unity was and how it will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
“I hope that with this team we also can create a group like in 2002 and that we spend years and years meeting up and remembering how we formed a team and a group for Brazil.”# HARD BUT FAIR
Players who performed on that team praised Scolari’s hard-but-fair attitude and said that ability to get the players playing for a cause gave them a powerful sense of us against them.
Edmilson, a utility player in the squad at the time, said: “In training he wouldn’t hesitate to give you a rollicking but off the pitch he laughed and joked and was easy to get on with. He really was great at forming a united group.”
Scolari, who took over in December with the task of winning the 2014 World Cup - the first to be held in Brazil since 1950 - has his team playing attractive football again and they’ve won their last four games.
Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Italy was perhaps their best yet and they go into Wednesday’s Confederations Cup semi-final against Uruguay on a roll. Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Tony Goodson (firstname.lastname@example.org)