Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is shrugging off criticism of several players as tension and excitement mount during the run-up to the 2014 World Cup.
Lately it's been Neymar of Barcelona and Paulinho of Tottenham Hotspur hearing critiques of their club play. Earlier in the season David Luiz of Chelsea took some heat, as did goalkeeper Julio Cesar, then stuck on the bench at Queens Park Rangers. During an event in Sao Paulo last week, Scolari turned the tables.
“Who is doing the criticizing?" said Scolari. “Some people in other countries have an interest in this. If you Brazilians watch them play, you'll see that they are important for their teams -- they're just not important for the journalists in the cities where they are playing.”
The fact that Neymar and Paulinho slid right back into the Brazil lineup for a 5-0 thrashing of South Africa last month, with Neymar bagging a hat trick, fueled Scolari’s contention that his players are primed to perform for their country regardless of their club status. Julio Cesar left QPR during the winter and is getting regular duty in MLS on loan to Toronto FC, and with players such as Fernandinho of Manchester City in excellent form, Scolari won’t be short of choices when the first ball rolls out June 12 against Croatia. Read the original story...