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Scolari defends midfield choices

17 May 2006 - 14:05:45

Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has defended his decision to name midfielders Maniche and Costinha in his World Cup squad.

The pair are short of match practice after failing to settle in Russia following their move to Dynamo Moscow last year, but were selected ahead of Porto's Ricardo Quaresma.

Maniche hoped to get some matches under his belt by joining Chelsea on loan in January but started just three Premiership games, while Costinha has been trying to keep fit by training with Belenenses.

Despite this Scolari insisted they merited inclusion in his squad.

"These players have done a lot for the national team and I have total confidence in them," the Brazilian told Ojogo.

"They are players trying to overcome difficulties with their clubs.

"With the friendlies we have lined up and the work they will be doing with (fitness coach) Darlan Schneider and the doctors they will be in good condition for the World Cup."


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