Brazil’s chances of winning the 2014 World Cup on home soil have received a huge boost this week after the Brazil Football Confederation (CBF) revealed their new manager who will lead the team into the tournament: Luiz Felipe Scolari.
The former Chelsea and Portugal boss is regarded as one of Brazil’s greatest ever managers after guiding the national side to World Cup glory in 2002. Scolari’s name goes before him and this appointment will no doubt inspire fans in the betting world to back Brazil for the trophy next summer.
Indeed, Brazil fans will be especially relieved to see the return of their national hero after enduring a difficult 18-month reign under former boss Mano Menezes, who was dismissed last week. CBF changed tact when they appointed Menezes after the World Cup in 2010, opting to employ an unknown domestic club manager rather than a former player or world-renowned head coach.
Menezes’ arrival was seen as a progressive step to involving the Brazilian domestic league with the national team, which so often has its players competition in Europe rather than South America.
Yet the Menezes experiment failed, with Brazil falling in the quarter-finals of the 2011 Copa America to Paraguay, winning silver at the London Olympics and slumping to a record-low 14th in the FIFA rankings.
With a home World Cup just 18 months away the CBF had to act fast and rightly reverted to type in appointing Scolari. Granted, the manager was exposed as a poor man’s Claudio Ranieri when in charge of Chelsea but his international record speaks for itself: a World Cup, a final defeat at Euro 2004 with Portugal and recently the Copa do Brasil with Palmeiras.
In Scolari, Brazilian fans’ already high expectations for the World Cup will be insurmountable come the tournament. He has the players at his disposal and the experience to match, making Brazil formidable opponents to any side in two summers time.
Don’t forget to check out all the Betfair FA Cup markets ahead of the second round this weekend, including the pick of the markets as MK Dons take on AFC Wimbledon.