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Time to give everything: Scolari

Coach Luiz Scolari says that time has come for the veterans in the Portuguese team to give it their best shot.

india Updated: May 27, 2006 15:30 IST

Luiz Felipe Scolari was a world champion four years ago as coach of the Brazilian team. Now he is dreaming of winning a second consecutive title, but this time with Portugal.

Some Portuguese players 'know that the time has come to give everything', he declared in an interview.

Excerpts:

Is Mexico the most important opponent?

No, every team is important. If we beat Mexico and then lose to Iran and Angola, we won't qualify. I don't see one opponent, I see three.

Is the Angola match a special one for Portugal, in view of the colonial relationship?

It is a special match because it is the first one. And the first one at a World Cup, or at any short competition like this one, with just three games, is the most important.

Do you think that Mexico has made a qualitative leap in recent times?

Since a long time, actually. This is the 12th or 13th World Cup Mexico will be taking part in, if I am not mistaken. They have never won the title, but they have a historic National team. They have been playing well in tournaments and are improving in all aspects.

What about Portugal? How far do you think the team can go?

Portugal wants to get as far as possible - like everybody else. But our opponents are very strong.

Figo apparently returned to the National team for you. Is he the sole star in the changing room?

I don't only have Figo. I have Costinha, Pauleta, Carvalho. I have other players who are active participants. Some have more experience and others more leadership qualities, and Figo is one of them.

Portugal is an experienced team.

Yes, we have an average age of 26. It is a good time for us.

But for some of your important men this will be the last opportunity - Figo, Pauleta or even Costinha.

There are some who are 33, 34 years old. They are intelligent and they know that the time has come to give everything.