Scolari expected to be named new Brazil coach

Luiz Felipe Scolari is expected to be named as the new Brazil

coach, returning to the national team 10 years after leading the

country to the 2002 World Cup title.

The official announcement is expected to be made by Brazilian

federation president Jose Maria Marin on Thursday. The president

said Wednesday that a new coach has been selected, and sources

close to Scolari and the Brazilian federation confirmed to local

media that the outspoken Scolari was the one chosen to lead Brazil

at the 2014 World Cup.

He would replace Mano Menezes, who was fired last week after

Marin said he didn’t like the coach’s methods.

The likely announcement of Scolari will keep Brazil from being

without a representative in Saturday’s Confederations Cup draw,

when the team will find out who it will play in the tournament’s

opener next June. Brazil will host the warm-up tournament and the

World Cup with a team led by young promising stars such as Neymar,

Oscar and Lucas.

Scolari has been without a job since leaving Brazilian club

Palmeiras a few months ago. The former Chelsea and Portugal coach

helped Palmeiras win the Brazilian Cup this year, but the team

struggled under his command and was eventually relegated to the

second division. Scolari had already been replaced, but admitted

his part of responsibility for the demotion.

Scolari had recently turned down jobs with Russia’s national

team and Brazilian clubs Gremio and Cruzeiro.

Marin said that a new national team coordinator will also be

announced on Thursday, replacing director Andres Sanchez, who

publicly said he was against Menezes’ dismissal. Carlos Alberto

Parreira, the coach when Brazil won the 1994 World Cup, was touted

for that job.

Parreira also coached Brazil in the 2006 World Cup, when the

team was eliminated by France in the quarterfinals.

Mario Zagallo was Brazil’s national team coordinator in 1994 and

2006, and Zico was in the position in 1998. The post was eliminated

for the 2010 World Cup, when Dunga was the coach.

Sanchez, who had been the person directly in charge of the

national team, had said discussions about the new coach would only

begin after Christmas and the announcement wasn’t expected until

early January.

Marin said earlier this week that he likely wouldn’t hire a

foreign coach, ending speculation that former Barcelona coach Pep

Guardiola could be a candidate. Marin said he respected Guardiola

but there were many good coaches in Brazil.

Others reportedly in the running for the job were Corinthians

coach Tite, former Real Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo and

Fluminense coach Abel Braga, who led his team to the Brazilian

league title this year. Santos coach Muricy Ramalho, who turned

down the Brazil job because of club commitments in 2010, reportedly

was also in the running.

There was also talk about Zico, the Brazil great who previously

coached Japan. He is in Brazil and announced Wednesday that he was

resigning as coach of Iraq’s national team of because of a contract

breach.

Marin fired Menezes saying he wanted the national team to head

in a different direction. The coach led Brazil to 21 victories, six

losses and six draws since replacing Dunga in 2010, but he was

marked by disappointing results against traditional rivals such as

Germany, France, Argentina and the Netherlands.

He also failed to win the Copa America and failed to win Olympic

gold, which is the only football trophy the five-time world

champions haven’t won.

Sanchez, the former president of Brazilian club Corinthians, had

criticized the president’s decision to fire Menezes because the

coach had already established his methods. Sanchez delivered his

resignation letter to Marin on Tuesday.

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