Make the final for Neymar, begs ScolariComment on this story
Belo Horizonte, Brazil - Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has urged his squad to use star striker Neymar's loss to a back injury as motivation when they face Germany in the semi-finals of the World Cup on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old will miss the remainder of the tournament after suffering a broken vertebrae towards the end of his side's 2-1 quarter-final win against Colombia.
“I think the additional motivation we must have in every match is going up another step and getting closer to our objective of the final,” Scolari said on Monday.
“The way Neymar spoke to the players made them understand that he had done his share and now we need to do our share.
“Myself, the other players, all the Brazilian people. This match is very important, it could take us to the final.
“We are playing for our country, it is everything we imagined and dreamed of, and also for Neymar.”
Scolari's roughhouse tactics in getting his side into the last four have been heavily criticised as they committed a tournament high 31 fouls in overcoming Colombia.
And the former Chelsea boss admitted they haven't gone about their business in the most aesthetically pleasing manner on home soil.
“We are doing everything step-by-step, not always in the most beautiful way but we are getting closer to playing the final at home and so everything is as scheduled.”
Brazil will also be without suspended captain Thiago Silva after the Brazilian Football Confederation's appeal against his second yellow card of the competition against Colombia was rejected on Monday.
However, Germany boss Joachim Loew warned the loss of Silva and Neymar could serve to galvanise the hosts.
And Scolari insisted his squad were prepared for having to overcome adversity on their quest to win a sixth World Cup on home soil.
“Since the beginning we have been very motivated to overcome obstacles.
“We knew we would have to overcome problems just to get to past the group and the last 16. That will continue because we have another elimination match in front of us.
“Tomorrow [Tuesday] Neymar, who is one of the best players in the world, will not be present but we have another 22 players that have been hand picked because there are special players.
“Being on the bench is special responsibility because you are there for a special moment when you are needed for a specific moment in the game.
“We will miss the competitiveness and happiness with which Neymar plays with but we have a team capable to go onto the next round.”
Scolari did, though, express concern that Germany's greater experience with a number of players in Loew's squad already having missed out twice at the semi-final stage of a World Cup.
“They have a very good team and we can't forget they have had six years working to this point,” he added.
“That means they have a good balance, good teamwork and the result of this work is being successful,” he added.