Napoli defender Henrique describes World Cup inclusion and his relationship with Scolari
Although many were surprised to see Henrique picked among Luiz Felipe Scolari’s 23-man World Cup squad, the man himself wasn’t.
The Napoli defender was expecting the call and believes his versatility and previous relationship with the Brazil head coach was crucial.
The 27-year-old spoke exclusively to Globo this week following his selection and though confident, he always remained anxious.
Henrique said: “I was expecting to be named because last year I participated in two friendlies and the game with Chile in March but I was anxious. Two weeks ago I could not sleep well. I thought it was possible.”
Even though Henrique pondered whether fans would be happy with his selection, he hopes they continue supporting the team.
He described his relationship with Scolari too, and explained what he asked of the defender at Palmeiras.
“It is normal to have different opinions to the head coach,” Henrique added. “But regardless, I hope everyone hopes Brazil win the title, which is the main objective.
“I met Scolari at Palmeiras and was captain of the team for a few games. I always tried to do what Scolari asked.
“He wanted me to lead the defensive part, asked me to speak, organize the game, always with leadership.
“It was important for me to experience working with Scolari. I was gaining his trust over time. I think that weighed heavy at the time of the final decision.”
Henrique also pointed to his versatility as the 27-year-old can play as a right-back, centre back and defensive midfield.
He added: “The fact that it can cover two or three positions may have been relevant. This, in short is competition like the World Cup, is important.”