June 28, 2014; Belo Horizonte, BRAZIL; Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari during the round of sixteen match against Chile in the 2014 World Cup at Estadio Mineirao. Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

Brazilian National Team has psychotherapist on hand


It’s tough being an international athlete. So the Brazilian men’s nation team brought in the big guns — the psychotherapist ones.

“We are the hosts,” coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said back in December of 2013, “so that means that the minimum we have to do — the minimum — is win.”

He put it simply, but that’s a lot of pressure. It’s not the first time they have used this particularly sports therapist to get a competitive advantage.

Sam Borden of the New York Times writes:

To help navigate his high-wire performance, he has enlisted the help of a surprising weapon: a psychotherapist. Regina Brandão, a professor at Universidade São Judas Tadeu in São Paulo, has been a member of Scolari’s team since the late 1990s. She may not be an expert in soccer strategy, but she has evaluated each Brazilian player to help Scolari sort 40 or 50 of the world’s most talented players into what he and Brazil hope will be an unbeatable 23-man team.

That same doctor will help them navigate this most recent and most pressing performance against Columbia, which will be the highest anticipated and perhaps most fun game to watch for the entirety of the World Cup.

Their shootout with Chile would have induced PTSD for any average human involved in the match. And Chile should not have been so close to beating the Brazilians, so perhaps Scolari sensed the team needed a mental edge that they were previously lacking.

Their game against Colombia in the quarterfinals is Friday, July 4 at 4 p.m. ET.

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Tags: World Cup