Flamengo defender Felipe has come out in defence of his hard-line approach to the game, claiming winning is all that counts.

Alex Hough

Felipe was referring to Flamengo’s defeat to Atletico Paranaense on Saturday.

He said that his team lost: “because we didn’t know how make the game safe, and we ended up losing. If we have to play ugly, to foul and dive in order to win then so be it.”

Felipe missed the 2-1 defeat through suspension, but the words of the former Galatasaray midfielder are sure to come as a blow to those within the Brazilian game eager to clean up its declining image.

The Brazilian, who won 13 caps for his country, continued: “We have displayed that we have the quality, that we’re on the right track. We played well against Santos and Paranaense [both of which they lost], two teams of high quality, and this is the most important thing.”

Flamengo are one of this year’s fallen giants of the Brazilian National Championship, currently languishing in 18th position, just 6 places and 6 points off the bottom.

During the late 80’s and early to mid 90’s the club were the one of the most successful Brazilian teams, although of late fewer stars such as Romario have passed through the immense doors of the Maracana.