Luiz Felipe Scolari wants the England job,10 years after snubbing the FA
Luiz Felipe Scolari wants to be considered for the England job he turned down a decade ago.
Scolari, 67, refused to become the successor to Sven Goran Eriksson in 2006 after the FA’s pursuit of him became public when he was still in charge of Portugal.
But the man who conquered England in the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, and then the 2004 European Championship and the 2006 World Cup with Portugal, is interested in succeeding Roy Hodgson.
Scolari, who is currently working in China, told Sportsmail: ‘I am the manager of Guangzhou and I am concentrating on my job here. But I know the importance of the England job in world football. I’ve an affection for English football and I am aware of the need for the national team to be successful.
‘I understand the importance of an international manager from my time with Brazil and Portugal.’
Scolari’s interest has been reignited by FA chief executive Martin Glenn’s announcement that they will consider a foreign coach. Scolari’s representatives will now attempt to contact the FA to register his interest in rebuilding English football after the shocking Euro 2016 last-16 loss to Iceland on Monday.
The Brazilian’s interest comes as Gareth Southgate revealed he does not want to become Hodgson’s permanent successor and also has strong reservations about taking the job temporarily.
Scolari endured a difficult spell as manager of Chelsea. A poor run of results in his first season prompted Roman Abramovich to sack him in February 2009.
But he returned to manage Brazil, winning the Confederations Cup in 2013 before guiding the host nation to the World Cup semi-finals in 2014, where they suffered a 7-1 defeat by Germany.
Even so, his record as an international manager is among the best. After winning the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 he guided Portugal to the final of Euro 2004, missing out on another major trophy thanks to an astonishing performance from Greece in one of the biggest upsets in football history.
Two years later in Germany, he took Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mates to a World Cup semi-final, having beaten England in a third straight quarter-final, the last two on penalties.
Scolari had a contract with Portugal until July 31, 2006 and out of respect to their federation he said any plans he had for the future would remain private until after the tournament in Germany. But the FA sent an official party to meet him in Lisbon in late April 2006 and while they came back believing they had their man, the fact that it then became public knowledge angered Scolari.
In fact, he was furious at being pursued by the English media when he was still under contract with Portugal and pulled the plug on taking over from Eriksson.
At the time Scolari said: ‘The English FA is going to choose a name. My name isn’t one of them because I’m closing this matter. There are 20 reporters outside my house now. If that is part of another culture, it is not part of my culture. I am not the coach, and will not be (England’s) coach.
‘I don’t want this situation involving England because my life was invaded. My privacy was totally under siege.’
Scolari said he was ‘very pleased’ the FA considered him, but added: ‘At this time I want to draw a line under this matter.’
Scolari stayed with Portugal for two more years, announcing during Euro 2008 that he would be moving to Chelsea. That year Portugal lost to Germany in the quarter-finals.
The Brazilian joined Guangzhou Evergrande last June and immediately led them to silverware, lifting the Chinese Super League and the AFC Champions League.
Whoever takes over as England manager, the FA will look to appoint another high-profile former player to replace Gary Neville in the coaching team. Neville, who retired following a glittering career with Manchester United in 2011, was drafted into Hodgson’s staff in May 2012 as a figure to whom younger squad members could relate.
The FA’s technical director Dan Ashworth is compiling a list of candidates, with Frank Lampard, who is with New York City, and Scott Parker, still playing with Fulham, on his radar. Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole are also likely to be considered.
Meanwhile, England have been branded arrogant by one of the men who masterminded their embarrassing loss on Monday night.
The 2-1 defeat cost Hodgson his job and Iceland co-manager Heimir Hallgrimsson said: ‘There was a bit of arrogance in the way they lined their team up. They have four or five strikers and not a lot of defenders in their squad and we knew if we could remain calm on the ball we could punish them.
‘They kept piling on strikers onto the field but I felt we kept them from our goal. I wasn’t as nervous as I was against Austria