Filipe Luis believes Brazil are rediscovering the confidence and swagger that can take them back to the top of the world game.
The five-time World Cup-winners have endured a fallow period at senior level since winning their last Copa America title in 2007 and parted company with head coach Dunga after a group-stage exit in the centenary edition of the latter tournament earlier this year.
But they claimed back-to-back wins over Ecuador and Colombia under new boss Tite last month to move up to second in the CONCACAF World Cup qualification standings for Russia 2018.
Brazil’s Under-23 side – captained by Barcelona superstar Neymar – won a memorable Olympic gold at the Rio Games and, with qualifiers against Bolivia and Venezuela coming up over the next week, Atletico Madrid full-back Filipe Luis reports a growing optimism around the Selecao.
“The Brazil national squad is conquering again this feeling of being used to winning,” he told a news conference.
“This feeling that we are a great team, other squads respect us, and that’s something we are achieving again through our victories and being humble. Knowing that everybody has to work, to defend and things will unfold.
“The work that’s been done is really great, we could already see important tactical changes and I think we still have to improve a lot, we’ll keep growing.
“The first aim has to be achieved, and it is to qualify to the World Cup.”
Despite the ignominy of his eventual departure, triumphant 1994 World Cup captain Dunga is still held in high regard by Filipe Luis after he brought him back into the international fold following the 2014 World Cup.
“Dunga was a great manager, he gave me opportunities, I’m thankful for everything he has done,” the 31-year-old added.
“Things weren’t going the way we wanted and I’m sure Dunga is not to blame. During the past Copa America we had lots of players injured, but sometimes –not only in the national squad but also within the clubs– changing is positive.
“We’re talking about two managers [Dunga and Tite] with completely different ways of working, with the same ambition of winning.”
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