The basis for the strategy that has won Luiz Felipe Scolari 12 straight games as a coach at the World Cup isn't some New Age philosophy - it's more than 2,400 years old. The Art of War by Chinese general Sun Tzu is one of Scolari's favourite books.
He says it has helped him to the 2002 World Cup title with his native country and into the semi-finals in Germany at the helm of Portugal. Scolari has won every game his teams have played at both tournaments - a streak that has reached a dozen.
With its stress on preparation, discipline, unity, the treatise is a guidebook for some in modern-day business, politics and sports. It is a fitting choice for a manager whose language is flecked with military terms, and whose next adversary is France on Wednesday.
"He's enriched us, increased our confidence," Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo Pereira said on Sunday. "Every ship has its captain, and he's ours."