Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari hass responded to critics who have accused of betraying Brazil’s heritage of attacking football.
“I’m glad to see that this image of me encouraging my team to play in a violent manner is disappearing,” he said.
“The true characteristics of Brazil and the way I want my team to play are coming through.”
Speaking after a far-from impressive Brazil side overcame Belgium 2-0 Scolari suggested that the performance vindicated his tactical approach.
“We showed that we are not just about star players, we have a team that fights for the ball and battled for every minute,” he said.
“We had prepared ourselves to be bombarded with high balls, and that’s why we played Edmilson as a third central defender. We suffered, they played very well, but we hung in there.
“My players showed their collective strength before our individual qualities won us the game. So I’m very pleased because I’m getting everything I need from this team. Just like in club football – commitment and dedication.”
Brazil now meet England in the quarter-finals on Friday, but Scolari refused to discuss what promises to be a mouthwatering encounter.
“Rightnow all I want to do is relax,’ he said. ‘We’re all very pleased and I don’t want to talk about England now.”