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Brazil 2014

Brazil-Croatia: Quotes

Neymar of Brazil walks off the field with teammates
© Getty Images

Luiz Felipe Scolari, Brazil coach

The players were fantastic. They kept calm and turned around the Opening Match of the World Cup, which is not easy. The fans deserve an even bigger hand, though. The support here in Sao Paulo was amazing. It was out of this world and people can’t imagine what it was like. There used to be stories about how Sao Paulo doesn’t get behind the national team that much, but you can’t say that any more. Croatia are a very good side. They have the ability to play the ball in behind the defence from the flanks, and they deserve a lot of praise for that.

Neymar (BRA), Budweiser Man of the Match

I’m very happy, really happy. This is more than I even dreamed about and it’s vital to start a tournament like this with a win. I’m happy with the two goals, but the whole team deserves a pat on the back because we kept cool and came from behind. We’re very strong individually and when we play as a unit we’re very difficult to beat. It’s not down to just one, two or three players: it’s the team as a whole that works.

Nico Kovac, Croatia coach

I really am very proud of Croatia despite the defeat because I know that we came up against a great team in every sense of the word. We put in a fantastic performance, from the first minute to the last. Brazil were very strong but we deserved at least a point. I’m proud because we showed that we can survive the group phase.