Rio De Janeiro: World champions Brazil are set to name their new coach this week with Sao Paulo’s Oswaldo de Oliveira favourite to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari.
The Brazilian football confederation, whose team has been in limbo since ‘Big Phil’ resigned in August, has announced it will end the mystery by Friday. The new coach’s first task will be a friendly in China on February 12.
Scolari was persuaded to stay on for a Paraguay friendly at home late August, which Brazil lost 0-1. Mario Zagallo was brought out of retirement to take charge for November’s friendly away to South Korea.
The two most obvious candidates for the job, Emerson Leao and Carlos Alberto Parreira, have already been there and appear unwilling for another stint.
Oliveira, 51, has had a good record since becoming a first team coach at Corinthians in December 1998.
Moreover, while many of his colleagues throw tantrums on the touchline and are accused of encouraging violent play, Oliveira has a reputation as one of the game’s gentlemen whose teams play clean attacking football.
The only other candidate for the job is the controversial Vanderlei Luxemburgo, who was in charge from 1998 to 2000 before being sacked in disgrace amid allegations of improper conduct.