Luis Felipe Scolari

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Scolari shrugs off Brazil critics after joining Palmeiras

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SAO PAULO (AP) Former Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said Friday that critics would not bother him on his return home to work at Sao Paulo-based giants Palmeiras.

[ MORE: Joe Hart heading to Burnley to fill void for injured Nick Pope ]

Despite leading Brazil to a World Cup title in 2002, `Big Phil’ took a lot of the blame for the team’s humiliating 7-1 defeat against Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinals.

“7-1, 0-0, 5-5, it does not upset me in any way,” Scolari told a press conference on Friday.

“The last time Brazil won the World Cup was in 2002 and I was with that team. The last to be defeated in the World Cup was not me. That is over,” the 69-year-old coach said.

His friend-turned-foe Tite was at the helm for last month’s World Cup quarterfinal elimination against Belgium.

Asked if he still thinks of the 2014 semifinal, Scolari replied: “It is over, that’s finished. I didn’t lose alone in 2014, I didn’t win alone in 2002. We won and we lost.

“Life goes on. Who of us does not have a day that goes wrong, that changes the way you think about life?”

After the 7-1 debacle, Scolari spent a few months at Gremio and then left Brazil, promising not to come back any time soon. Last year he repeated that pledge in several interviews.

Despite his excitement to be back home, Scolari was not done talking about the 2014 semifinal.

“One negative result does not hide 99 positive ones,” he said. “Life shows me I can have a bad result and get stronger to do my job.”

`Big Phil’ said he had three offers from national teams, but chose to begin a third spell at Palmeiras, a club he has coached for more than 400 games.

Scolari’s last job ended in 2017 at China’s Guangzhou Evergrande, where he won seven trophies.

His contract at Palmeiras runs until 2020. He replaces his former player Roger Machado, who was fired as coach after the team lost 1-0 at Fluminense in the 15th round of the Brazilian championship.

Despite huge investment, Palmeiras is sixth in the championship after 16 games, eight points behind leader Flamengo.

Report: Orlando pursuing Scolari to become club’s third manager

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Orlando City was out to a hot start in 2018, before six straight defeats cost Jason Kreis his job with the Eastern Conference side.

[ MORE: Landon Donovan talks El Tri support, USMNT and much more ]

The Lions must now turn to a third manager in their fourth MLS season, following the departure of the veteran head coach.

ESPN’s Taylor Twellman reported on Saturday that the Lions are prepared to turn to a Brazilian, and specifically have an eye on former Brazil manager Luis Felipe Scolari.

The 69-year-old is currently out of coaching, after last holding a position in the Chinese Super League with Guangzhou Evergrande in 2017.

Scolari guided Evergrande to three straight league titles in the Chinese first division, however, opted not to renew his contract.

Orlando remains sixth in the East through 15 matches, however, the club has begun to lose ground on the conference’s top five teams after their dip in form.

With Scolari officially out, who will be Brazil’s new manager?

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After the Brazilian national team confirmed that Luis Felipe Scolari resigned after the 2014 World Cup, the Selecao are at a crossroads.

Scolari led Brazil to fourth place at the World Cup but their 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semifinal and 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in the third place match proved the hosts need to head in a new direction. Despite winning the World Cup for Brazil in 2002, Scolari could not lead the current crop of Brazilians to glory on home soil.

With the 65-year-old manager officially out, there are a long list of successors lined up

Big names such as Carlo Ancelotti, Jurgen Klinsmann, Fabio Capello, Sir Alex Ferguson and Vincente del Bosque are rank outsiders to get the job, but according to British bookmaker Paddy Power here are the top candidates to replace Scolari.

Could Jose Mourinho leave Chelsea to take charge of Brazil? Not sure about that one…

    • Adenor Leonardo Bacchi (Tite) – 6/4 favorite
    • Muricy Ramalho – 5/2
    • Pep Guardiola – 9/2
    • Jorge Sampaoli – 10/1
    • Jose Mourinho – 10/1
    • Luis Nazario (Ronaldo) – 14/1
    • Clarence Seedorf – 14/1
    • Carlos Queiroz – 14/1
    • Leonardo – 14/1
    • Romario – 20/1 

Who would you like to see in charge of Brazil?

Neymar’s agent in outrageous rant: “Scolari is arrogant, repulsive, ridiculous”

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Neymar wasn’t fit to play in Brazil’s 7-1 semifinal humbling at the hands of Germany, so he can’t be blamed for the worst defeat in the five-time World Champions’ history.

However the Brazilian superstars agent is directing the finger of blame at one person: the Selecao’s manager, Luis Felipe Scolari.

[ RELATED: Scolari not to blame ]

[ VIDEO: All seven of Germany’s goals ]

In a bizarre Twitter rant following what was possibly the most shocking result in the history of the World Cup, Neymar’s agent Wagner Ribeiro posted his six-point argument on why Scolari had failed to get Brazil to the final and win the World Cup. 

Below is Ribeiro’s rant. Have a read and see what you think.

Is he talking sense or just lashing out at Scolari as Brazilian fans are in the midst of their darkest hour as soccer nation?

“One – being Portugal Coach and winning nothing.”

“Two – going to Chelsea and being sacked the following day.”

“Three – going to coach in Uzbekistan.”

“Four – returning to Brazil, taking over a big team [Palmeiras] and getting them relegated to the second division.”

“Five – leaving the club 56 days before the end of the Brasileirao [season] to ‘escape’ the relegation.”

“Six – being an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous,” he finished in brutal fashion.”

Scolari’s right: Drastic change unneeded as Brazil attempts to regroup

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Humiliating loss? Yes. Need for drastic change? Not really.

There won’t be a lot of positivity coming out of Brazil camp after “The Machine” stomped on “The Little Canary” to the tune of a 7-1 throttling in the first semifinal of the 2014 World Cup, especially considering the prospects of neighbors Argentina hoisting the trophy in Brazil’s tournament remain in tact for at least a few more hours.

But Brazil should listen to Luis Felipe Scolari’s big picture comments after the brutal beatdown.

[ MORE: Brazil’s loss hits the papers | Where does 7-1 rank all-time? ]

Yes, it’s the “worse day of his life” but it doesn’t call for a complete overhaul of Brazil’s system or mentality (the actual players’ mentality? Probably).

From SkySports:

“I don’t agree that we’re behind from a strategic standpoint. This was my third loss. But this was the worst loss,” he said.

“Should we have to reinvent our team after one game? Half this team will play at WC 2018. At least 13, 14, 15 of them will be in 2018.

“What happened today had little to do with how we had been playing. We lost control… that’s not normal but it happens.”

Fact 1: Big absences

Let’s start with the obvious: Brazil was missing two of perhaps the Top 10 players in the world. While that doesn’t excuse a six-goal drubbing, the absence of Thiago Silva and Neymar clearly sapped the strength of a mentally-weak side that was far from in form.

Phrased differently: when you’re holding your injured superstar’s jersey in the Starting XI photo and wearing hats lamenting his absence, things aren’t off to a positive start. This was a tough injury to a soccer play, not the imprisonment of a political hero on unjust grounds.

Strategically, Brazil had to contend with factors that would’ve made it difficult to top any strong team, let alone a humming machine like Germany. Neymar was their only elite finisher, and was on form, while Thiago allows David Luiz a lot of freedom (something we’ll see shine this year at PSG). Without them, Scolari was already swimming upstream.

Fact 2: Still really good

Anyone remember the 2013 Confederations Cup last summer in Brazil? The host nation thumped the competition with a 5-0 record and 14-3 in goals. They beat Japan 3-0, Mexico 2-0, Italy 4-2, Uruguay 2-1 and Spain 3-0. That’s not so bad.

Their U-23 team finished second at the 2012 Olympics, losing only the final to Mexico in claiming silver. They’ve lost once since August, a 1-0 friendly loss at Swizerland, and are fine.

Except for that whole 7-1 thing.

Fact 3: Scolari chose… poorly (or had choices limited)

Bizarre in a match without Thiago and Neymar that Scolari would omit veterans Ramires and Dani Alves from the Starting XI, and opt against Willian and Paulinho.

But the bigger point is that in a tournament where intensity and form mattered, here is a list of players the manager did not choose for the roster (whether via inability or simply selection). Some weren’t coming off banner years, while others certainly were:

Rafinha (Bayern Munich)

Miranda (Atletico Madrid)

Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)

Lucas Moura (PSG)

Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur)

Alexandre Pato (Sao Paolo)

Rafael da Silva (Manchester United)

Fact 4: Weird run-up

Every host nation deals with the hassle of preparing for a major tournament without any intense qualifying bouts, and Brazil’s schedule was a bizarre one.

Brazil tried to schedule some intensity between the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, but you can’t replicate desperation. The style Brazil played allowed them to crush Australia 6-0 and Portugal 3-1. They topped Chile 2-1 in a November friendly and beat Panama and Serbia easily in two run-up matches to the World Cup.

But when the ball kicked for the tournament, they never found their stride outside of Neymar. The Croatia win was controversial, the Mexico draw showed no finish, Cameroon may have been throwing the dang thing and both Chile and Colombia can argue that they deserved wins.

This tournament was in Brazil, but it was not their property.

Finally…

Brazil got destroyed by Germany on Tuesday. They also hadn’t lost at home in the better part of four decades. Don’t send them to the scrap heap just yet.