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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 December 2006, 12:15 GMT
Scolari to leave after Euro bid
Luiz Felipe Scolari
'Big Phil' Scolari has been charge of Portugal since 2002
Luiz Felipe Scolari will step down as Portugal coach at the end of their Euro 2008 campaign.

'Big Phil', 58, won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 and rejected the chance to succeed Sven-Goran Eriksson as England boss earlier this year.

He also led Portugal to the Euro 2004 final, where they lost to Greece, and the 2006 World Cup semi-final.

"It is logical that at the end of Euro 2008 I leave when my contract ends," he told Portuguese newspaper Record.

"The work of a coach is limited to five or six years.

"We are already in this time frame but after that, things become more difficult because they create habits and links with the players, which can result in things deteriorating."

606: DEBATE
FR

He also confirmed that he had been approached both by Portuguese giants Benfica in 2004 and England prior to the last World Cup finals to replace Eriksson when the Swede left after the tournament.

Scolari said: "The English wanted me to sign the contract during the finals but that I start the job after the finals were over. However, that would have a betrayal of the Portuguese.

"It simply wasn't possible. Nobody can sign for one national side and continue to run another.

"It was a difficult choice but I understood that I could not accept it," stated Scolari, who guided Portugal to victory over England on penalties in the World Cup quarter-finals - having knocked them out at the same stage of Euro 2004.

Scolari said he was undecided about his next move and said: "I could stay here, go to another European country or return to Brazil. I just don't know."



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