Brazil captain Thiago Silva insisted on Thursday his teammates were mentally tough enough to cope with World Cup pressure after criticism of the squad's tears during the last-16 win over Chile.
"I think we are good psychologically. We are doing what we love to do," the Paris Saint-Germain defender said on Thursday. "There was a lot of pressure to win that match so we know we had to give all we had. But when you do things with a lot of will and desire, there is no way to not be emotional."
Amid complaints that there have been too many public tears, the squad held a session with the team sports psychologist this week to prepare for their quarterfinal clash with Colombia on Friday in Fortaleza.
Silva, with coach Luiz Felipe Scolari sat next to him, dismissed criticism of his leadership.
"When those things are said we have to look away. The leader is beside me; he is the commander and backs me so I don't care what people from the outside say. I just need to think about my job. This is the way I am, I am very emotional and this is a very natural thing. This doesn't affect me at any time on the pitch.”
"I don't think the emotion makes anything more difficult. I have overcome difficult moments. I had tuberculosis and had my life at risk, but I am a champion on and off the pitch and I show maturity and respect," said the Brazil captain.
Brazil's 1970 World Cup-winning captain Carlos Alberto triggered debate by accusing the Selecao of crying too easily. "The team is crying when they're singing the anthem, when they get hurt, when they shoot penalties! Come on... Stop crying! Enough!" he said.
Silva vowed to make amends to the fans in Fortaleza having been held to a goalless draw there by Mexico in the group stages.
"Colombia have a similar team to ours, we are two teams that like to play technical football," he added. "These are two teams with a lot of quality and the ones who benefit from that is the supporters. We want to reward the supporters with goals given we didn't manage to score here in the last match."