Luiz Felipe Scolari: It hurt to turn down England
Brazilian was offered the job in 2006
Luiz Felipe Scolari begins his second spell as Brazil coach at a stadium he might have called home. Scolari said it was a matter of regret that he was unable to accept the FA's offer to take charge of England in 2006.
"When I was invited to be national coach I still had a contract with the Portugal national team and I was not willing to break that contract," the 64-year-old admitted. "It was my duty to fulfil that contract. Imagine in 2006 what would have happened if we played together and I already had the contract with the England national team.
"Of course it hurts. It hurt a lot. I would have loved to be manager of the England national team. Who wouldn't? It's a wonderful national team and I hope I will have the opportunity tomorrow to talk to [Frank] Lampard and Ashley Cole, and I wish all the best for the English players and their manager on their path of innovation and who knows, you never know what might happen one day."
Scolari eventually made his way to England two years later when he was appointed coach of Chelsea in the summer of 2008. Barely six months later he was gone. He declined to comment on the continued hire-and-fire policy of owner Roman Abramovich, only to add that he enjoyed his time in charge in west London.
"What I remember about Chelsea is simply marvellous. I had a great time here," Scolari said. "I loved my time here when I lived here, when I trained here with this spectacular club.
"What is happening now, I don't have any opinion on that, I can't answer that. The person who can answer that is the person who is there right now, doing the job. When I was in Chelsea they were qualifying for the Champions League, doing well in the tournament and playing in the FA Cup so that was good work."
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