Portugal "need dedication, care" to beat Germany - Scolari
Basle, Switzerland (dpa) - Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari fears Germany, but he thinks he knows how to beat them in Thursday's Euro quarter-final in St Jakob Park, in Basle.
"We need dedication, care, attention to detail, the ability for self-improvement and goals. We need to do what we have been doing so far," Scolari said Wednesday.
This is the third time the Brazilian coach plays Germany in a knockout round of a major tournament. With Brazil, he beat them in the final of the 2002 World Cup, and with Portugal he lost to the Germans in the game for third place at the 2006 World Cup.
Scolari said he was "building up the strategy" to get to be in a position to get through "decisive games," and he dismissed the alleged advantage of having had 24 hours more rest than Germany since their last first-round game.
" Germany has a very great ability for self-improvement. The 24 hours are worth nothing. Those who did not play (in Portugal's last game) probably did physical and technical work similar to what the Germans did, without actually playing," the coach explained.
"Felipao" praised UEFA for the decision to re-lay the pitch at the Basle stadium, but also called upon the European football body to allow German coach Joachim Loew to sit on the bench despite his suspension.
"I would like Joachim to be there," Scolari said.
The South American stressed that he intends to field the same team he used against the Czech Republic and Turkey in the first round, and noted he will devote no particular efforts to German star Michael Ballack.
"Ballack is probably in the best form he has been in in recent years, but I have to worry about everyone. For example (Philipp) Lahm is one of the best fullbacks in the tournament," he said.
Scolari staged a little show by pulling out a piece of paper and reading out the significant height of some German players and comparing them to those of Portuguese players.
"My guys are 1.15 or 1.20 metres tall. Should I worry just about Ballack," Scolari joked amid general laughter.
The coach stressed that things will ultimately be settled on the pitch, and noted that he will seek no excuses.
"If we do not manage to be better, it will be because we are not good enough," Scolari said.