Luiz Felipe Scolari isn't one for smoke and mirrors. Asked about possible Brazil captains last week, the Seleção coach did not beat about the bush.
"I've already chosen them," he replied, with a glint in his eye. "David Luiz is one... so he must be in the squad, right? Until I reveal my final selection, my captains are Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Júlio César and Fred. Those are the guys who spoke up most in the games we've played."
To the uninitiated, such public declarations may appear misguided. Brazen, even. After all, obfuscation is usually the default setting in modern football, with managers seeking to eke every advantage possible by keeping their cards close to their chests. Besides, revealing a chunk of your squad could easily serve to demotivate those not named; in this case, one might wonder how Fernandinho felt about the announcement, just a couple of months after seemingly gatecrashing the party with a fine display against South Africa.
But such worries miss the point where Felipão is concerned. This, after all, is a man who has always prioritised trust and unity over palatable PR. If those in his group feel happy and motivated, Scolari has done his job. The rest is just distraction.
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