Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New old coach for Brazil

Brazil must win the 2014 World Cup at home. The most winning football nation in World Cup history has never won the World Cup at home (until Spain won it, they were the only ones), after their debacle in the 1950 World Cup against Uruguay. There is no doubt that not winning it at home again would lead to a similar collective depression as 1950.
Therefore the matches of the Brazilian national team under manager Mano Menezes have been followed closely, and have surely not been convincing. Brazil was set on winning their first Olympic gold in London, but lost the final to Mexico, and although they had good results against weaker sides, they seemed to struggle when up against quality sides. Last week Brazil played what is effectively an Argentie B-side in the "super-clasico" friendly match. They won 2-1 on a penalty kick by Neymar in the final minutes of the match. But Brazil had looked weak against Argentina, and during the match fans had cheered for the return of coach Luis Felipe Scolari.
So Menezes was fired, and Scolari has been announced as new coach. He was also made coach in 2001 when Brazil was in crisis and failing to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. Scolari succeeded: he led the team to take the 2002 World Cup title, and then stepped down as coach. Since then he has had a disappointing career, first coaching Portugal, then Chelsea, Bunyodkor in Uzbekistan, and ending in Palmeiras, from where he was fired a few months ago after the team was at the bottom end of the Brazilian championship. Without work, he was called for from many parts to take over Brazil.
It remains to be seen whether he can put Brazil on the right track for the World Cup. In 2002 he had an incredibly talented generation of Brazilian players that included Cafu, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo. While this generation is surely talented it remains to be seen whether Scolari can bring out the best of them, and whether the best of them will be enough to give them the World Cup title they are longing for.
All eyes are on Luis Felipe Scolari.

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