South American Football - Scolari thrills in Marcelo performance

Left-back Marcelo boosted his hopes of making Brazil's World Cup squad next year with a performance against Russia which earned lavish praise from coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Scolari said that before the match he had doubts about the Real Madrid's defensive abilities, but those had been laid to rest by his efforts in the 1-1 draw against Russia.

"Everyone says Marcelo attacks well but has problems when it comes to marking," Scolari said.

"Today, his performance was balanced, he attacked when he had to attack and marked well, so we have found another player for the team."

"He has skill, he can dribble, he surpassed expectations," added Scolari.

Scolari has yet to win in three outings since being appointed for a second stint in charge but said he was pleased with his progress as he builds a team for next year's World Cup, where Brazil will try and win a sixth world title on home soil.

"We have to go stage by stage," he said. "With each stage, we are adding a little something and discovering one or two more players who fit in with the team."

"I think we maintained the standard we achieved in the draw against Italy (on Thursday). What satisfied me at the end was the way we played after Russia scored, we kept working the ball, we created chances and in the end we got the goal."

Scolari made little comment about playmaker Kaka who started for the first time since he took over.

"Kaka lived up to expectations," he said.