Rio de Janeiro: As hosts of the 2014 World Cup, Brazil’s only option is to win the ultimate championship, according to national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. “In Brazil, we only have one option – winning,” the Tuesday edition of Brazilian daily O Globo cited Scolari as saying, reports Xinhua.

The coach added, however, “there’s no pressure. The players are relaxed. If someone is better than we are, we will accept it. But to be better than Brazil, they will have to show it.”The veteran coach, who led Brazil to their fifth World Cup win in 2002, when the games were co-hosted by Japan and Korea, said he was more relaxed going into the championship this time around.

“I feel very confident, because that was my first Cup. Our team didn’t have everything as well planned as it does now. We didn’t have a team with a defined playing style. That’s why, I’m more relaxed,” said Scolari.Asked what his biggest challenge was right now, with less than a month to go before the start of the World Cup June 12, Scolari said, “putting a stop to everyone’s anxiety in Brazil”.

“If we only had to play against anxiety, and not against Croatia, there would be no problem at all,” said Scolari, praising the rivals. Croatian “team has quality, works the ball very well (and) is well positioned,” he said. Croatia are ranked 20th in the world, while Brazil ranks fourth.

Luiz in tax fraud probe

Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian authorities have agreed to cooperate with Portugal over a criminal case involving Brazil’s football coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. Scolari is being investigated for tax fraud after allegedly failing to declare seven million euros of income. The attorney general’s office in Brazil (PGR) confirmed Wednesday it had agreed to cooperate with its Portuguese counterpart, reported Xinhua.

No further details were given by the PGR due to the ‘confidential’ nature of the investigation. The probe focuses on Scolari’s time as a Portuguese resident from 2003 to 2008, when he coached the country’s national team. Earlier, the Brazilian released a statement refuting the claims.

“I always declared my earnings in all the countries I worked in,” Scolari said. “I am absolutely convinced of the correctness of my declarations. If there is something wrong, it is not of my doing.” Scolari could face a prison term of up to 17 years if found guilty. IANS

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