Column from on Brazilian coaches

Discussion in 'Brazil' started by Century's Best, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. Century's Best

    Century's Best Member+

    Jul 29, 2003
    The following is a translation from the Oct 18, 2004 column by Humberto Peron, a columnist at

    For a long time, in the history of Brazilian soccer, coaches almost always received no credit for their achievements. Victories were all credited to players and to coaches, only criticisms for defeats were left over. The disdain was such that the following phrase was coined: "coaches don't win games, they only lost them." In the past few years, with the departure of our greatest players, importance is now given to the coaches' work, for, without great players on the pitch, a good strategy may define the result of a game.

    As I did a few weeks ago, as I listed the best 10 teams I've seen, I am going to make a list of the ten best coaches I've observed. Logically, this list is limited to the work of coaches from the 1970s; therefore, some coaches who made history, such as Lula, Flávio Costa, Vicente Feola, Fleitas Solich, and the Moreira brothers, Aymoré and Zezé, were excluded.

    The list is alphabetical.

    Carlos Alberto Parreira - he has much theoretical knowledge and is very familiar with the history of soccer. His teams have always had a solid defensive constitution, have been characterized by long ball possession, have erred infrequently, and have a high field goal percentage. Parreira, always balanced, has the merit of believing in the work that he plans, even if this often earns him the label of "conservative." His teams may not please those who prefer a more offensive brand of soccer, but merit cannot be withheld from his successes, especially the 1994 World Cup.

    Cilinho - Those who like teams who play w/ speed and an offensive style must always have Cilinho as a reference point. In addition to being a great motivator, he was a pioneer in the revelation of new talents for our soccer, especially with Ponte Preta, São Paulo, and XV de Jaú.

    Cláudio Coutinho - A theoretical specialist of soccer tactics, Cláudio Coutinho introduced some tactical changes into our soccer with the constant advance of left and right-fullbacks. During his time, and especially during the 1978 World Cup, he was very criticized, for many thought he wanted our soccer to adopt European styles. Unfortunately, he died in 1981, when he was reaching his maturity as a coach.

    Ênio Andrade - There is no player who has worked with him who will not cite him as a reference. This is the greatest compliment a coach can get. A 3-time Brazilian national champion, with Internacional (1979), Grêmio (1981), and Coritiba (1985), his work hasn't been as valued because he did not achieve his successes in teams from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

    Luiz Felipe Scolari - A great motivator of lineups, Luiz Felipe Scolari has as a great asset the ability of getting the confidence of all his players and aking him execute what he requests. Dynamic when on the sideline, he makes players feel he's on the pitch playing alongside them. A great observer, Scolari makes substitutions that always yield good results. Differently from other coaches, the teams he leaves behind always miss him - Palmeiras and Grêmio fans will testify to that.

    (Century's Best soccer history: with Grêmio, Scolari won the 1995 Libertadores and the 1996 national championship. With Palmeiras, Scolari won the 1999 Libertadores - Palmeiras' first - and a 2nd place finish in the 2000 Libertadores. Scolari became a Palmeiras icon because in both Libertadores, Palmeiras eliminated its archnemesis Corinthians on PK shootouts. The 2000 Libertadores was special because Scolari coached a squad that was far inferior to its 1999 version, and yet he defeated a loaded Corinthians squad and drew Boca Juniors twice before falling... by PKs.)

    Oswaldo Brandão - The mere fact of winning titles with the big 3 teams of the city of São Paulo (Palmeiras, São Paulo, and Corinthians), besides success as a soccer coach in Argentina, grant to Oswaldo Brandão credentials as one of our all-time great coaches. His teams were known for ballhandling and much determination, for his teams fought until the last minute. Besides his technical knowledge, he knew how to motivate his players and was highly concerned in orienting the younger players in how to invest the money the made from soccer. Responsible for ending Corinthians' long title drought, he had an intuition that can be summarized in two episodes. First, at the finals of the 1977 Paulista (São Paulo State) Tournament, when he told midfielder Basílio that he'd score the goal that would seal the title. And, in the 1974 finals, when he coached Palmeiras, he started center-back Jair Gonçalves as an improvised right full-back. And it was with Jair that started the play which culminated in the goal that brought Palmeiras the title.

    Rubens Minelli - The only coach who won 3 consecutive national titles --1975 and 1976 with Internacional and 1977 with São Paulo--, Rubens Minelli was famous for his great tactical knowledge. His teams mixed technique and brute strength. His teams always displayed an enormous repertoire of plays prepared during scrimmages. Unfortunately, during the best moment of his career, he was not chosen to coach the Brazilian national team.

    Telê Santana - This is the best coach I've observed. Telê Santana transformed any team, regardless of the lineup's quality, into a team with a standard of play and which played offensively. Extremely detail-oriented, he insisted on caring even about the grass of the training pitches for the teams he coached. He demanded perfection in the players' fundamental skills, and therefore he did not spare specific training sessions to fight any players' deficiencies.

    Vanderlei Luxemburgo - One may not like his arrogance, but his work as a coach is unquestionable. His teams are always distinct from others for their tactical deployment. With time and good players, he assembles great teams, as he did with Cruzeiro in 2003. Sadly, he failed to take advantage of his chance as national team coach.

    Tite - Corinthians' current coach may become the main coach of Brazilian soccer in the near future. Studious and profoundly knowledgeable of the tactics of this sport, he already has important successes under his belt, such as the Gaúcho (Rio Grande do Sul State) Tournament which he won with Caxias (2001), Copa do Brasil (2001) which he won with Grêmio, and the current work he is doing with Corinthians.

    (Century's Best soccer history: he coached Grêmio through an excellent phase in 2002. This phase included a controversial PK defeat to Olimpia in the Libertadores semifinals, but only after overcoming tough teams such as River Plate - aggregate 6-1, with a 2-1 win in Argentina - and Nacional of Uruguay. Between 2001 and 2002, Grêmio was a powerhouse in Brazilian soccer).

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