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Barcelona defender Daniel Alves and Bayern Munich defender Dante also expressed their support to the demonstrations.

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari had been saying that he was only worried about preparing his team for the tournament and would not comment on anything else. However, he talked Tuesday about the protests for the first time, praising his players for giving their support to the movement but saying that there is little the national team can add.

“Our job is to give fans motivation to celebrate by doing well on the field,” he said. “It’s all we can do.”

Former Brazil player Juninho, a member of the 2006 World Cup team, suggested on his Facebook page that on Wednesday players sing the national anthem with their backs turned to the Brazilian flag to show that soccer is not more important than the Brazilian people. Others have said the fans should also turn their backs to the field when the anthem is played in the match against Mexico.

Neither happened before Brazil’s match with Mexico on Wednesday.


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