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Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Sunday, 18 July 2010 13:18 UK

Socrates tips Luis Felipe Scolari to be Brazil coach

By Julian Shea

Former Brazil captain Socrates - photo copyright Patrick Smith
Socrates is now a commentator on both football and Brazilian society

Former Brazil captain Socrates has told BBC Sport World Cup-winning boss Luis Felipe Scolari should succeed Dunga as coach of the national team.

Dunga left his job after a poor showing at the 2010 World Cup but Socrates said the team's failure was not a surprise.

"Brazilians were not disappointed, they didn't expect to win," Socrates stated.

"Dunga's approach did not reflect what Brazilians are really like. There was not enough creativity. The general feeling is Scolari should be coach."

Scolari guided Brazil to victory at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, since when he has coached Portugal, Chelsea and Uzbekistan side Bunyodkor.


He has now returned to Brazil and signed a two-year deal to coach club side Palmeiras.

But there has been talk he could combine the two roles or take over the Brazil job when his club deal expires, ahead of the 2014 World Cup finals which will take place in Brazil.

On a visit to London to speak at the South Bank Centre's Festival Brazil, part of the London Literature Festival, Socrates said the job of national team coach brought with it huge non-football pressures.

"To be coach of Brazil is as important as the president of the country, the people should elect him," added the former midfielder, who won 60 caps for his country.

"As the coach is as important as the president, he has to manage the expectations of the people.

"If he at any moment stops or doesn't correspond with these expectations, people will be very unhappy."

Socrates pictured before the 1986 World Cup in Mexico
Socrates played for Brazil at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups

Socrates captained Brazil at the 1982 World Cup in Spain. The team, featuring the likes of Zico and Falcao, failed to win the trophy but is remembered across the world as one of the most thrilling sides football has ever seen.

Ironically, the 1982 tournament was the mid-point of a 24-year drought between Brazilian appearances in the World Cup final, which ended in the United States in 1994 when Dunga, a defender, captained the side to a penalty shoot-out victory over Italy after a hugely disappointing final.

Socrates suggested that Dunga's emphasis on results rather than style was not the true Brazilian way, and had restricted the team in South Africa this summer, culminating in their quarter-final exit at the hands of eventual runners-up the Netherlands.

"Brazilians are very creative and they way this team was, it was not like that," he reflected.

"It was very predictable - we don't do things correctly like Europeans, we like to improvise.

"Football is an art and players should be allowed to show creativity. If the coach gives freedom to the players to play the way they know how, they can do it.

"If [painters] Vincent van Gogh and Edgar Degas had known when they were doing their work the level of recognition that they were going to have, they would not have done them the same. You have to enjoy doing the art and not think 'will I win?'".

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see also
Tests ahead as focus turns to Brazil
11 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Brazil unveil 2014 World Cup logo
09 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Dunga sacked as Brazil head coach
05 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Brazil look beyond Dunga to 2014
03 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Brazil fans wince and look to 2014
03 Jul 10 |  Latin America & Caribbean
Eriksson tips Brazil to win Cup
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
New-look Brazil go back to basics
03 Mar 10 |  World Cup 2010
Brazil to host 2014 World Cup
30 Oct 07 |  World
Scolari moves to Uzbek champions
09 Jun 09 |  Football
Scolari sacked as Chelsea manager
09 Feb 09 |  Chelsea
Brazil soccer star to join UK non-League
29 Oct 04 |  Sport News

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