Mano Menezes was sacked as manager of Brazil on Friday, speculation is now rife as to who will be the successor of one of World football's most appealing jobs.
50 year old former Corinthians and Gremio boss Menezes was in charge of the Samba boys for two years and three months but, had been under severe pressure since losing the Olympic final on penalties toMexico in August.
As replacement for Brazil World Cup winning Captain Dunga life as the selecao manager started relatively brightly for Menezes. Many were impressed by the forward thinking shown as he introduced a number of premature talents to the national set up, with eyes firmly on the 2014 World Cup.
Menezes was looking to build a team around the supremely talented duo of Neymar and Ganso. It was he that was responsible for providing these two great Brazilian hopes with their first senior international caps, as well as giving debuts to rough diamonds such as Chelsea’s David Luiz and Oscar, and the home based Lucas Moura and Leandro Damiao.
After the initial excitement of overseeing the international virginity’s of such youthful player’s obliterated performances soon failed to meet the high expectations of a football crazy nation. Menezes claimed the accolade of being in charge of Brazil’s worst Copa America campaign for a decade, when they were eliminated by Paraguayin the Quarter Finals. He was also responsible for seeing Brazil slip out of the top 10 in the FIFA World Rankings for the first time in their history. Menezes did win his second successive Superclasico de las Americas against Argentina recently but, it was not enough to keep his job.
Now a position sits vacant for one of the most alluring jobs on the planet. Imagine sitting on the Copacabana beach, the sea lapping at your toes as you sip on a Pinacolada whilst longingly glancing at a buffet of buxom female bottoms covered by something resembling florescent tooth floss.
You idly pick up a pen and scribble down the names of players that can do more outrageous tricks with a football than most people can do with a yoyo. Harry Redknapp must be kicking himself for accepting the QPR job so hastily. The sun of Rio de Janeiro would have worked wonders for Harry’s blotchy red complexion.
Brazil's 2002 World Cup-winning coach ‘Big Phil’ Scolari has emerged as the early favourite to succeed Menezes, with Santos manager Muricy Ramalho, and Corinthians boss Tite also mentioned. As is the case with any current high profile managerial position, former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is also reported to be in contention.
Brazilsquad director Andres Sanchez revealed a new boss would be named in January and that there were at least seven candidates in contention. January is the month that Guardiola has previously suggested that he may end his self imposed sabbatical from the game.
His footballing philosophy and style would suit Brazil and the nature of the International game may appeal, as it avoids the intense strain of reporting to work on a daily basis.
Another name that maybe likely to act as one of the “seven” could be Jose Mourinho. It is highly unlikely that the ‘special one’ would leave his post at the Bernabeu straight away, but if Brazil were willing to wait until the end of the season then who knows?
I’m sure that the tag of ‘the world’s best manager in charge of the world’s best international team’ would appeal greatly to Mourinho’s ego. He also has the advantage of being fluent in Portuguese, which is of course Brazil’s national language.
The only factors going against Mourinho would perhaps be the fact that Brazil have a history of sticking to one of their own when selecting their national manager, and despite the undoubted results that Jose achieves his team’s style of play may not be entertaining enough for Brazil’s flamboyant football lust.
It would be a case of substance over style, but may for once be overlooked in Brazil’s desperation to lift the World Cup trophy on home own soil for the first time in their illustriously successful history?
Who do you think should be the next boss of Brazil?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald