‘Big Phil’ Scolari was understandably ecstatic after his Brazil team thumped Spain 3-0 to win the Confederations Cup last night.
Before the competition, the five-time World Cup winners were already being written off as lame duck hosts of next year’s football showpiece, rated the world’s 22nd best team by all-knowing Fifa.
But Brazil proved all Confed Cup long that they are steadily on the right track, and by the time they settled into their Samba steps against Spain, the rebirth of joga bonito was confirmed at the Maracana.
Scolari is now confident enough to say that Brazil will be a real threat on home soil at the World Cup next year, when they will continue their bid to stretch their record as the competition’s most successful team.
"I don't think I could feel any better than how I am right now," Scolari said joyously after the game last night.
"I thought that any positive result would be great and to beat them 3-0, that is much better than I imagined.
"But I also believe that overall, not only because of the score but the way we played, we had a very good match.
"Now I am able to dream that we have an idea, that we have a path ahead of us, and that we have a good team to play in the World Cup next year as equals with other strong contenders."
Scolari added that perhaps Brazil’s victory would come as a salve to the nation’s current socio-economic woes.
But in a football context at least, he is adamant that their recent run of form proves the boys from Brazil are back.
"It was important not just for the football team but the whole country for obvious reasons," he said.
"But as far as the team is concerned, one thing that is important is that in the last 30 days we have beaten four former or current world champions: France, Uruguay, Italy and Spain.
"We are a team still being formed, facing a lot of difficulties and I think this win upgrades the team, giving us more confidence. It’s something that will make us play in a different way."