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Scolari puts in his papers

Sao Paulo: Luiz Felipe Scolari has resigned as Brazil manager after the hosts suffered two of their worst defeats in World Cup history, the president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said late on Monday.

Scolari’s men were one of the favourites to win the tournament, but were demolished 1-7 in the semi-finals by eventual champions Germany. To compound their misery, they lost the third-place playoff 0-3 against the Netherlands.

CBF president Jose Maria Marin confirmed Scolari’s much expected departure in a statement and thanked the experienced coach for helping “rescue the Brazil team’s self-esteem.”

“Scolari and all his backroom staff deserve our respect and thanks,” Marin said in a short statement published on the CBF’s website. “They were responsible for returning to the Brazilian people a love for the national side, even if they did not achieve our highest aim.”

Scolari, who led Brazil to the last of their record five World Cups in 2002, took over the post for a second time in November 2012 and lost just five of his 29 games in charge. He led Brazil to the Confederations Cup title last year with a memorable 3-0 defeat of 2010 world champions Spain in the final.

He was hugely popular in Brazil with the players looking up to him as a father figure. He had the support of the nation going into the World Cup and there was very little opposition to his squad selection.

Marin did not say who might take over. One Brazilian sports channel reported Alexandre Gallo, the coach of the Brazil under-20 side, would take over until the end of the year.

Among the other names mentioned are Tite, who led Corinthians to the Libertadores Cup and Club World Cup in 2012, and Muricy Ramalho, the present coach of Sao Paulo.