Following a fourth-place finish in the Brazilian Serie A, Corinthians manager Mano Menezes resigned from his position in early December.
Now, the club has confirmed that former manager Adenor Leonardo Bacci, or Tite, has returned to one of the most high-pressure positions in Brazil. The club’s official website claimed “The Conqueror returns!”
In his last stint, Tite led the team to a league title just a year after being appointed in 2010. He then won the Copa Libertadores title in 2012, beating high-powered teams such as Cruz Azul, Vasco de Gama, Santos, and Boca Juniors along the way with an incredible 22-4 goalscoring differential.
The success continued, with Tite leading the way to the title at the 2012 Club World Cup in Japan by beating Chelsea 1-0 in the finals.
The club – one of the most valuable in the country – is notorious for the immense pressure to win, and reports suggested that Menezes was feeling that pressure, but he denied that upon his resignation.
“We did what we proposed doing at the start of the season and I feel like I’ve done my duty,” Menezes said. “We got some players back to form over the season, we blooded some youngsters with promising futures and in addition to all that we qualified for the Libertadores.”
The fourth-place finish gives Corinthians the country’s final berth into the competition, which they solidified by winning four of their last five matches down the stretch and working up a seven-point advantage over Atletico Mineiro. They will be slotted into a qualifying round, while the positions above them all get berths directly into the group stage.
Following his departure from the club in 2013, Tite was unemployed throughout 2014, reportedly rejecting a number of offers to focus on refining and updating his knowledge bank, making trips to personally watch teams like Arsenal and Real Madrid to study their styles of play.