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Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Friday, 13 June 2008 18:06 UK

Portugal players backing Scolari

Luiz Felipe Scolari
Luiz Felipe Scolari remains in charge of his squad

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari's authority over Portugal's Euro 2008 squad remains undiminished, according to defender Fernando Meira and goalkeeper Ricardo.

Scolari, 59, was announced as the new manager of Chelsea on Wednesday despite Portugal being only two games into their tournament campaign.

"The squad is upset he's leaving because he's a great trainer, but we're still counting on him," Meira said.

"He won't lose authority, no one is losing respect for him," he added.

"Everything in life has a start and an end. We're happy for him to have a new experience."

The Brazilian will take the reins of the former English champions on 1 July - two days after the final of Euro 2008.

We hope to do something beautiful here to dedicate to him

Fernando Meira

But Meira maintains 'Big Phil' is still fully focused on Portugal's challenge.

"Scolari is still very motivated to do a good job," said Meira, a substitute in Portugal's Group A wins over Turkey and Czech Republic.

"We hope to do something beautiful here to dedicate to him."

Asked whether Scolari's imminent departure to Premier League side Chelsea had destabilised Portugal, Ricardo was equally dismissive.

"He is living the present with us. He's going to do everything he can so the Portuguese feel pride in their team."

Group leaders Portugal meet already eliminated co-hosts Switzerland in Basel on Sunday.

Scolari's men are favourites to win the group and proceed to meet the runners-up of Group B, in a quarter-final at the same venue on Thursday.

see also
Portugal team guide
15 May 08 |  Portugal
Portugal stats and form guide
27 May 08 |  Portugal
Pick your Portugal XI
23 May 08 |  Portugal
Scolari named as Chelsea manager
11 Jun 08 |  Chelsea
Scolari's career in photos
11 Jun 08 |  Chelsea
Scolari - the view from Brazil
12 Jun 08 |  Chelsea
Scolari to leave after Euro bid
26 Dec 06 |  Internationals
We can win tournament - Ronaldo
12 Jun 08 |  Portugal

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