Brazil say the hard-fought win over an experienced Uruguayan squad has helped the team mature and gain more confidence for next year’s World Cup, also being staged on home ground.
Brazil struggled to beat Uruguay 2-1 on Wednesday, but manager Luiz Felipe Scolari and his players say there are a lot of positives to take from the match at Estadio Mineirao.
“This is what we’re doing at this competition, we are growing,” Scolari said.
Goalkeeper Julio Cesar said the victory “is going to play an important role in making the team more mature in the future.”
“The whole team is improving and this is something we can do when we play against teams like Uruguay and Italy,” Scolari said. “When you play against Uruguay it’s a different sort of match. There’s a lot of rivalry between the two teams and we get a little bit nervous.”
“We are not ready yet. We have to go through this, through all these situations so we can grow up and evolve and reach the most important competition for us — which is the World Cup — in better shape,” Scolari said.
Brazil were unable to impose their style and struggled against the Uruguayans on Wednesday.
“This kind of victory is going to play an important role in making the team more mature in the future,” Julio Cesar said. “It was a semi-final in an important competition, against a rival with a very good team, so we have to take a lot of positives out of it.”
With players such as Cavani, Diego Lugano, Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez, Uruguay have been one of the best teams in South America in recent years, finishing fourth in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The Uruguayans left the field disappointed by playing well but not getting the victory.
“Brazil are a great team and they win even when they don’t deserve to win,” Lugano said. “It’s a characteristic of this team, they win even when they shouldn’t have won.”
Scolari, who led Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title, took over the team again in December last year. The team performed poorly in the first few matches under his command, but now is enjoying a five-match winning streak.
“This team will have to face many hurdles and grow up as a team and grow by playing in their own teams more so that they can become more mature,” Scolari said. “I would say that we’ve met our goals, we wanted to make it to the final and to have a team which can give the fans confidence that we can also do well in the World Cup.”