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Where now? Brazil mull where future lies

11 July 2014, 09:04

Rio De Janeiro -Brazil's humiliating World Cup exit has left some commentators in the most successful football nation on earth thinking the unthinkable: is it time to hire a foreign manager?

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari remains, for now, in his seat pending Saturday's third place playoff against the Netherlands.

But Tuesday's 7-1 mauling, the worst defeat in Brazil's football history, has erased a lot of goodwill felt by many towards the coach who guided the country to their record fifth title in 2002.

With commentators having picked over the rubble of the stunning reverse in Belo Horizonte, Thursday saw the media gaze move on to who the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) will choose to ultimately replace the 65-year-old.

Scolari will not necessarily go when the tournament ends, though his contract will be up, but he did take full responsibility for the Germany meltdown.

"It is only after (Saturday's) game we will talk with the direction of the CBF, that's when we will decide," he said.

Respected sports commentator Juca Kfouri of Folha de Sao Paulo daily said "there won't be a revolution" but gradual reform dealing with "structural problems" such as mounting club debts and young stars seeking stardom in Europe.

A 'gringo' coach?

Sports daily Lance summarized the debate as comprising a choice between domestic candidates -- with former Corinthians' coach Tite at their head -- or a foreigner, an idea which repels some.

"Will they go for Tite or a gringo? With Felipao ready to say goodbye Tite heads the list, but there are those in the CBF backing a foreign coach," Lance commented.

"Tite is the favorite," added Globo, pointing out that the 53-year-old, real name Adenor Leonardo Bacchi and a southerner like Scolari, had in 2012 lifted the Libertadores Cup and Club World Cup -- the latter at Chelsea's expense.

Lance insisted "Felipao showed he was incapable of knowing where he went wrong" by blaming everything on "six fatal minutes" in which Germany added four goals to their opener.

Commentator Guilherme Gomes said that amounted to Scolari and his coaching staff "defending the indefensible. What planet are they living on?"

Before Brazil turned the clock back a decade in re-appointing Scolari in late 2012, polls showed fans as receptive to the idea of a foreign coach.

Former Barcelona handler Pep Guardiola was a popular choice, reportedly stating: "the only team in the world I would coach tomorrow is Brazil's Selecao."

But Globo football blogger Alexandre Gontijo told AFP: "While Guardiola could be great, a foreign coach would be a real culture shock."

'Starting from zero'

Michel Castellar, a writer with Lance, told AFP the foreign option had to be on the table.

"It's time to start again from zero. What appears culturally impossible, having a foreigner come in, ceases to be so after the humiliation against the Germans," insisted Castellar.

But he added the problem was how to remain true to the nation's love of and nostalgia for the 'jogo bonito' panache of the past -- which essentially vanished with their famous 1982 loss to Italy.

"He would need to want to lead Brazil back to the jogo bonito; back to being the Brazil of 1970 or 1982. If he comes in with a European mentality he will fail," Castellar warned.

"The 1982 team was never slated by fans, because they want to see beautiful football.

"One problem is that the current philosophy is to marry Brazilian football with the European style," said Castellar, who noted Tite is known for creating teams using strong defence as their bedrock.

Some prefer the 'devil they know' and would like to see Scolari stay.

"They should stick with Scolari - the team will be fine in 2018," insisted former skipper Cafu, although 1970 skipper Carlos Alberto Torres is leaning towards Tite.

CBF vice-chairman Delfim de Padua Peixoto said after the Germany loss -- which he dubbed "much worse" than the shock defeat to Uruguay in 1950 -- that he believed Scolari would go of his own volition.

"I like him personally but have the right to say I think he has had his day."



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