'Have no fear, Brazil is no monster'
"We are not confronting an awful monster. They are a strong team. But, as professionals representing Japan, we must never give up," Japan coach Zico said.india Updated: Jun 21, 2006 14:00 IST
Japan coach Zico has told his players to have no fears when taking on Brazil in their make-or-break World Cup match in Dortmund on Thursday.
"We are not confronting an awful monster," Zico said. "They are a strong team. But, as professionals representing Japan, we must never give up as long as there are the slightest of chances.
"We have to be more optimistic," he said.
A star of three Brazilian World Cup campaigns, Zico recalled that Brazil had lost to Norway in 1998 in their last group match after having secured a spot in the second round.
"They lost because they let up after reaching the second round," said Zico, who was a technical advisor to Brazil's World Cup squad in 1998.
He also recalled that the three-time Asian champions battled to a 2-2 draw with Brazil in the first round of the Confederations Cup in Germany in 2005.
Zico said that Japan would have won the match had it not been for an incorrect offside call that denied Japan a third goal.
Brazil have already qualified for the second round by beating Croatia 1-0 and Australia 2-0.
Japan, who lost to Australia 3-1 and drew 0-0 with Croatia, need to beat Brazil to have any hope of finishing second in the group and qualifying for the last 16.