The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Brazil ponder Luxemburgo, Zagallo return

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil are due to visit South Korea for a friendly international next month but the five-times world champions are still without a coach. The Brazilian football confederation (CBF) was expected to name an interim coach last Friday for the match, their second since the World Cup, but the announcement has been postponed to a new date which has not been revealed.

In the meantime, the media continues to speculate about who will take charge for the match and, more importantly, who will be named as the permanent replacement for Luiz Felipe Scolari early next year.

The CBF has already suggested that veteran coach Mario Zagallo, who was sacked after the 1998 World Cup for “only” finishing second, could be brought out of retirement to lead the team in South Korea as a “tribute.” Zagallo, 71, was involved in Brazil’s first four World Cup victories — as a player in 1958 and 1962, as coach in 1970 and as assistant coach in 1994. He also coached the team in his own right at two other World Cups, leading them to fourth place in 1974 and the runners-up spot at France 98.

As for the long-term replacement, speculation is beginning to mount that the job could be handed to Vanderlei Luxemburgo, who was sacked in disgrace little more than two years ago.

A Brazilian sports daily claims that Luxemburgo is negotiating for what would be a hugely controversial return with the CBF and that he is already forming his national team staff.

Luxemburgo’s first stint began after the 1998 World Cup and ended in after the Sydney Olympics when his team were humiliatingly eliminated in the quarter finals by nine-man Cameroon. Luxemburgo had already been under fire for poor results and for using too many players. The heat was turned up further when a former business associate accused him of taking commissions on the sale of players when he was a club coach earlier in his career.

Shortly after being fired, Luxemburgo became a central figure in an investigation into corruption in Brazilian football. A commission grilled him over tax returns, told him his income was not compatible with his profession and said his explanations was unsatisfactory.

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