Luiz Felipe Scolari to lead Brazil at 2014 World Cup

 

New Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari insists he does not feel under pressure, despite being appointed less than two years out from a home World Cup.

The 64-year-old will lead the five-time World Cup winners into the tournament in 2014 after the Brazilian Football Confederation announced him as the replacement for the sacked Mano Menezes.

Brazil have failed to make it past the quarter-finals at two World Cups since winning the competition under Scolari in 2002 and nothing less than than another title will be accepted in front of their home fans.

"I'm not feeling under pressure, but very happy," Scolari said. "When the FA president (Jose Maria Marin) called me last Tuesday and confirmed that I was the chosen one, I thanked him a thousand times.

"I was under pressure the first time, when we were in danger of not going to the World Cup.

"The players are those who always have pressure over them, I don't."

Scolari's first spell in charge started in 2001, when Brazil were struggling in the South American qualifiers. He successfully led the team to Japan and South Korea and eventually to a 2-0 win over Germany in the final of the tournament.

The unpopular Menezes was dismissed because Brazilian FA president Jose Maria Marin wanted a new approach ahead of next year's Confederations Cup and the World Cup and, after initially saying the new man would be appointed in January, the decision was brought forward.

Scolari had been the overwhelming favourite to take over given the esteem in which he is held by the public.

The former Chelsea boss, who parted company with Palmeiras in September, has plenty of top-level international experience, having led Portugal at the 2006 World Cup and 2004 and 2008 European Championships.

Scolari will be assisted by another World Cup winner with Carlos Alberto Parreira, who led the team to glory in 1994 in the United States, coming in as technical co-ordinator.

"It is a pleasure to work alongside Scolari," Parreira said.

Marin said experience was the key quality he had been looking for in the new appointments.

He said: "We concluded that we should hand over control of selection to those with ability and experience that had already been proven by titles won.

"We have chosen these two great champions, respected worldwide."

Scolari's first match in charge will be a friendly against England at Wembley on February 6.

PA

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