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World Cup scars remain for Brazil – Taffarel

Brazil goalkeeping coach Claudio Taffarel said the scars of their infamous exit from the 2014 World Cup remain with his side, heading into their Copa America quarter-final.

The South American powerhouse have won 12 of their 13 fixtures since finishing fourth at their hosting of the World Cup – which saw them ship 10 goals in two matches, including the 7-1 semi-final rout at the hands of Germany.

Despite Dunga’s arrival at the coaching helm – he replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari – breathing life into the national side, Taffarel claimed his players are still recovering from the embarrassing World Cup display.

Taffarel, 49, said he had similarly tough times in his 104-cap career in the Brazil goal, claiming the 1994 World Cup triumph saw them rise above the criticism.

“You slowly learn and we contribute without past experiences. For us, it was never easy either,” Taffarel said on Wednesday, ahead of their knockout tie with Paraguay on Saturday. 

“Yeah, we won the fourth World Cup title, but before reaching that point, we experienced some difficult challenges. 

“Where was it that the fans threw eggs at our head? In Bahia? You know, we were criticised at times. 

“We experienced mistrust within the group, which wasn’t so tight knit at times and we got past that. 

“This team [in 2015] is an excellent group, we have impressive players. 

“For you guys who are just seeing what is happening on the field, you don’t know what happens behind the scenes. 

“But for those of us who are working with this team and who lived through the ’94 World Cup, we see the same potential now. We see their will to work together and do their best. 

“They’ve experienced many challenges. They lost the World Cup, they suffered that unforgettable loss, and they are still carrying all that weight. 

“I believe that, step by step, they will rebuild that confidence in themselves and will bring a lot of joy to everyone.”

Assistant coach Mauro Silva said he was hoping Brazil’s defence – which has conceded just five goals since Dunga took the reins – would hold up.

Brazil are yet to keep a clean sheet at the 2015 Copa.

“It is important for us to have this confidence in our defence during this competition,” Silva said. 

“To not concede goals, even during difficult moments, and to maintain this result because Brazil has potential, even without Neymar up front. 

“We have seen this with great players, like [Roberto] Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, that this team has great potential and ambition. 

“Paraguay will be a tough opponent but I am confident that our team will do whatever possible to surpass this challenge and make it to the next phase.”

Thu 25 Jun, 2015
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