SAO PAULO, June 12: Grieving Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said he drew strength from his players after his nephew was killed in a car accident — the second death to hit his family in just weeks.
Scolari, who left Brazil’s base camp to attend his brother-in-law’s funeral last month, will not be able to leave his squad again so close to Thursday’s opening World Cup match against Croatia, sources close to the coach told AFP.
His nephew, 48-year-old Tarcisio Joao Schneider, died in a head-on collision with a truck on Tuesday after crossing into the oncoming lane while driving in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Scolari, under intense pressure to guide Brazil to their first World Cup win on home soil, said his family had gone through difficult times in recent weeks.
“We do what we have to do and we go on,” the coach told a packed press conference at the new Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo. “Each one has a path to follow. I find my strength from working with these players.”
“It’s a beautiful stadium,” he added. “We forget some sad aspects and we think of the positive side of 99 percent of our life and we go on together with this team.”
The truck driver was not injured in the accident.
Schneider was Scolari’s sister’s son. The coach’s other sister lost her husband on May 27.
On that occasion Scolari left Brazil’s training camp in Teresopolis, outside Rio de Janeiro, to attend the funeral, which was also in Rio Grande do Sul, Scolari’s home state.