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Last Updated: Monday, 6 October, 2003, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
Brazil greats under pressure
By Tim Vickery

Those who say the likes of Glenn Roeder and Glenn Hoddle were not given enough time, have never been to South America.

It is not a continent that treats coaches with much patience.

Junior was a Brazilian legend in the 1980s
Junior was a Brazil legend in the 1980s
The figure of the coach was created to be a scapegoat, especially more so in contemporary South America.

Some of the major clubs have huge problems: poor training facilities, players wages unpaid for months, the best players continually sold to Europe.

Rather than confront some of the underlying problems, it is far easier just to sack the coach.

Thirty-four rounds have now been completed in the Brazilian championship.

Of the 24 teams, just five have stuck with the same coach. Some of the clubs have been through four coaches, while others have even appointed the same man twice.

Not too many former Brazilian greats go into coaching - and if they do they tend to get out quickly

Last week, Corinthians parted company with their coach. Geninho resigned after a 6-1 defeat made his position untenable.

The biggest club from the giant city of Sao Paulo, Corinthians, are languishing in 10th place in the league table.

It is debatable whether this is entirely the fault of Geninho.

Corinthians' year effectively ended in mid-May when they were knocked out of the Copa Libertadores, South America's Champions League.

It was the signal for the break-up of the side.

Key players went off to Turkey, Germany, Russia, Portugal and France. Some of those that stayed went down injured.

For weeks, Corinthians' strike partnership consisted of Abouda, a 17-year old, and Jo, a year younger.

Both are excellent prospects, but it is surely too early to have them operate as a pair.

At least now Abouda and Jo can pick up some tips from two of the greats of Brazilian football.

Corinthians have appointed Rivelino, a 1970 World Cup winner and the most famous name in the club's history, to the post of general manager.

Rivelino has taken up the role of general manager at Corinthians
Rivelino was a 1970 World Cup winner
And the new coach is Junior, the flying left-back from the 1982 World Cup.

The club claim inspiration from Real Madrid, with Rivelino in the role carried out across the Atlantic by the Argentine Jorge Valdano.

It is an interesting comparison. Not too many former Brazil greats go into coaching and, if they do, they tend to get out quickly.

Who would want the hassle? A career in the media is far more agreeable. Indeed, both Rivelino and Junior have worked extensively as television pundits.

Real Madrid's Valdano is very much an ideas man. Rivelino, however, comes across as the stereotype old pro sadly shaking his head at the decline in modern day standards.

And Junior is no Carlos Quieroz because he lacks a rich coaching CV.

Junior has always been associated with Rio de Janeiro, where he moved when he was a child.

His playing days in Brazil were spent with the city's biggest club, Flamengo, and had two brief coaching spells there.

Some in the game question whether Junior can adapt to the very different city of Sao Paulo.

Rivelino should have some idea of the pressures they will face.

Nearly 30 years ago he was hounded out of Corinthians - the fans held him responsible for the fact that the team had gone well over a decade without winning a title.

A famous name and a high media profile is no protection from the impatience of Brazilian football.





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