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   June 23, 2002 | 1300 IST


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Daredevil Edmilson will not change

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Edmilson admits he has probably left Brazilian supporters on the edge of a nervous breakdown with his habit of dribbling past opposing forwards but the daredevil defender insists he will not change his style.

"It's my way of playing. It's the way I know how," said Edmilson, who says he has never been able to bring himself to simply hoof the ball away.

"For me, on the pitch it's easier than whacking the ball upfield.

"Of course, for the people watching at home, I can understand if they get anxious, but I feel more comfortable this way."

Edmilson had not made any major blunders but his habit has already landed him in trouble.

In the second round match against Belgium, he started on one of his runs but lost the ball near the halfway line.

The ball went out for a throw-in but, unfortunately for Edmilson, the incident happened right under the nose of his fiery coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who immediately gave him an earful.

Despite the very public reprimand, Edmilson has won the confidence of Scolari, who initially left him out of the team when he took over last June.

Edmilson did not figure in any of Scolari's first nine games in charge but, after being recalled for the World Cup qualifier at home to Chile in October, he has been almost ever-present, playing in four of Brazil's five matches at the World Cup.


Edmilson, who plays for French club Olympique Lyon, says that carrying the hopes of 170 million compatriots has made him cut out some of his excesses.

"At my club, they go mad with me sometimes because I do even worse things. Of course the responsibility is greater when I play for Brazil."

"Playing for a club is not the same thing, sometimes I do things there such as playing around in the penalty area and people get angry with me, but it's my way.

"I began my career in midfield so it's natural for me to play the ball out."

The 25-year-old's international career got off to a slow start as it coincided with one the worst runs of results in Brazil's history.

Brazil lost 2-1 away to Paraguay in a World Cup qualifier on his debut two years ago and he was also in the teams which lost to Chile, Bolivia and Australia.

He has already played under three national coaches but is now only two games away from winning the World Cup, starting with a semi-final against Turkey on Wednesday.

"It's very important not just for me but whole the of Brazil. For me, it would be a blessing and a present from God."

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