Menezes says no added pressure because of Scolari
SAO PAULO (AP) — Mano Menezes doesn't think his job as head of the Brazilian national team is in greater danger because World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is on the market again.
Menezes has been under pressure for some time because of Brazil's lackluster play as it prepares for the 2014 World Cup at home, and some fans and local media began calling for Scolari to take over the moment his contract with Brazilian club Palmeiras was terminated last week.
Menezes said he doesn't feel the situation has changed because Scolari is available, and noted that the end of Scolari's tenure with Palmeiras only shows that coaches in Brazil are never secure regardless of their experience or their successful past.
"I don't feel more or less pressured," Menezes said Tuesday, a day before Brazil faces Argentina in the Superclassic of the Americas, a two-legged series organized by the South American federation. "I respect all coaches. What happened just gives more support to the idea that we are all the same, losing or winning, we are fired, hired. ... It's always been like that."
Scolari, who led Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title in South Korea and Japan, never ruled out coaching the national team again, but had been dismissing any possibility of taking over the job because of his club contracts.
He never hid from anybody, either, that his goal after leaving Palmeiras at the end of 2013 was to coach a national team at the World Cup in Brazil. There have been reports of past negotiations with Colombia and Chile, but he said there had been no offers recently.
The 63-year-old Scolari coached Portugal to the final of the 2004 European Championship, as host, and to the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup. He had a spell at Chelsea and Uzbekistan's Bunyodkor before returning to Palmeiras in July 2010.
He remains one of Palmeiras' biggest icons, coaching the club to some of its greatest triumphs, including victories in the 1998 Brazilian Cup and the 1999 Copa Libertadores.
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