what if the next Seleçao coach is a foreigner?
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Sao Paulo (AFP) – It is rare in the closed club of world football champions to see a foreign coach leading a national team. But in the absence of a united Brazilian technician and after more than two decades without a title, Brazil looks ready to take the plunge.
The search for the generous man is in the hands of the president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), Ednaldo Rodrigues, who has opened the door to the appointment of a non-Brazilian coach at the head of the Seleçao.
“We have no prejudices about nationality”, he said on January 17, announcing that the CBF was searching the market to find a replacement for Tite, whose departure was recorded even before the disappointment of another defeat in quarter-finals at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, four years after the same disappointment in Russia.
“We want a respected coach who appreciates the level of play in accordance with our players. We want to do what Brazil always tries to do: be very attacking,” he explained.
Each of Brazil’s five titles have been won with a local coach on the bench (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002), but the lack of more than twenty years and the elimination of five times in a row by a country Europeans are changing the given. Especially now among the banks in Brazil, no coach stands out.
“There is quality but we used to train more coaches than now. The new generation has not been installed, it has not won enough titles not to be challenged”, commented Luiz Felipe Scolari, the last coach to win World Cup, in 2002, with Brazil.
Even before Tite left, the local and international press was flooded with potential candidates, but not always free: the Spanish Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique, the Italian Carlo Ancelotti, the French Zinedine Zidane , the Portuguese José Mourinho or the Argentinians Marcelo Gallardo and Mauricio Pochettino.
Portuguese coaches working in Brazil were also mentioned: Abel Ferreira (Palmeiras) and Jorge Jesus (Flamengo idol).
“Until the end of last year, I think I saw at least 26 different names go by,” joked Ednaldo Rodrigues, who hopes to announce the new chef auriverde no later than March.
Getting a world-class coach when almost everyone else has a long-term commitment, and getting Brazil to accept that a “gringo” is coaching the Seleçao is a challenge: 48% of Brazilians are against it, according to a poll conducted in December by the Datafolha institute, which however shows that the rejection of the scenario of a foreign coach is decreasing.
“In Brazil, an idea is spreading: we have the best football in the world, so we don’t need a foreign coach to tell us how to play,” Victor Figols, historian and publisher of the sports portal Ludopédio, told AFP. .
Practice the next one
In the more than a century of history of the Seleçao, only three foreigners have been in charge, all short-lived: the Uruguayan Ramon Platero (1925), the Portuguese Jorge Gomes de Lima (1944) and the Argentinian Filpo Nuñez (1965).
And Scolari, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, Carlos Alberto Parreira, Ricardo Gomes or Zico got their title of nobility in banks outside the country.
“An image has been built over history that because we train great players, we also train great coaches, but that’s not true,” Victor Figols said.
The Brazilian press has also put the names of locals Dorival Junior (winner of the Copa Libertadores in 2022 with Flamengo), Fernando Diniz (Fluminense), Renato Portaluppi (Gremio) and Mano Menezes (Internacional), as potential candidates.
But none of them have the track record of Tite when he took over, having won everything a Brazilian club could win, including the Club World Cup (2012), the last won by a South American team.
“It is necessary to improve the level of those who work here, whether we hire a foreigner or a Brazilian,” wrote Vinicius Coelho for the daily Folha de Sao Paulo.
“Guardiola will not come, added the author of the book ‘The Brazilian School of Football’. We will develop our own Pep Guardiola in a few years, as we developed Zagallo and Telê Santana in their time”.
© 2023 AFP