A fourth-place finish at the World Cup is usually worthy of a commendation, but when you’re the manager of Brazil and the campaign ends with two consecutive losses and 10 goals conceded on home turf, it’s an unspeakable disaster. Despite losing the third-place match 3-0 to the Netherlands and getting booed off the pitch, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said that he would leave his fate up to the federation. And hours after Germany, the team that beat Brazil 7-1 to begin this horror, edged out Argentina to win the World Cup, it was agreed that Scolari’s contract would not be renewed, according to Globo.
Scolari led Brazil to their last World Cup title in 2002 during his first stint as coach. Upon returning to replace Mano Menezes in 2012, he led Brazil past Spain to win last summer’s Confederations Cup in convincing fashion. This World Cup showed signs of trouble from the start, though. It began with an own goal from defender Marcelo and continued with an over-reliance, both emotionally and physically, on 22-year-old star Neymar.
Brazil were a goal frame away from going out in the round of 16 before beating Chile on penalties and struggled to put away Colombia in the quarterfinals before experiencing soul-crushing obliteration by the Germans in the semifinals after Neymar was injured, and then rounding out with a hangover loss to the Netherlands.
This was not a vintage Brazil team and it showed in the form of often brutish play rather than the famous samba football that used to delight the world. Along with Scolari, striker Fred was also made a scapegoat, but neither man was truly at fault for Brazil not having a brilliant striker like in years past. Fred announced his international retirement before Sunday’s final.
“We didn’t have great performances but we were reaching our goals,” Scolari said on Saturday. “We still finished in the top four. I don’t think we can’t criticize the national team.”
That might sound like a man trying to brush serious problems under the rug, but now it seems he was just trying to shine up a totaled car before leaving it on the side of the road.
Proving this point, Scolari also said: “My life goes on regardless.”