Tue 24 August 2021 | 19:29

Mano Menezes Biography

He is known as one of the legendary coaches of the Cruzeiro football club. In this article, we will take a look at Mano Menezes biography.

Mano Menezes, born 11 June 1962 in Passo do Sobrado, Brazil is a former Brazilian footballer and current football coach. He is currently working as the head coach of the Saudi Arabian team Al Nassr. From 2010 to November 2012, he was in charge of the Brazilian national team.

He started his football career as a player, where he was a striker for Rosario between the seventies and eighties. He later also played for Fluminense and Guarani. He finished his career to devote himself to the study of physical education and become a football coach.

His coaching career started in 1997 at Guarani, which was one of the clubs he had played for during his playing days, and he stayed there until 2002. After that, he coached Brasil da Pelotas, Iraty SC and Guarani again but did not stay long at these clubs. He was with 15 de Novembro in 2004 and in 2005 he coached Caxias.

He joined the major club Grêmio in 2005, where he was promoted to Serie A and won two Campeonato Gaúcho titles and the runner-up spot in the 2007 Copa Libertadores. He was signed by Corinthians in 2008, with which he was also won promotion to Serie A, and also won the 2009 Copa do Brasil and the Paulista Championship of the same year.

As soon as the 2010 World Cup came to an end, on 24 July, Mano was appointed as the new coach of the Brazilian national football team with the objective of winning the 2011 Copa América, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and, later on, the 2014 World Cup.

During his first challenge, which was the 2011 Copa América, he topped the group stage, but was beaten in the quarter-finals and knocked out by the Paraguayan national team, at the time coached by Gerardo Martino, who later reached the final of the continental competition.

All You Need to Know About Mano Menezes Biography

Likewise, he also lost to Mexico in the final of the men's football tournament at the London 2012 Olympic Games. In late 2012, he was sacked from his position as coach and was replaced by Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Having left the "seleção", he went on to take charge of Flamengo in 2013. After a year on the job, he was back on the bench at Corinthians. Cruzeiro was his next destination, and he coached them in two spells, with a stint at Shandong Luneng Taishan in


between them.

He then went on to coach Palmeiras in 2019. Following a spell with Bahias in 2020, he is currently coaching Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia.

Mano Menezes Information

Now that we know him better, in this section of

Mano Menezes biography

, we will share some general information about him such as

Mano Menezes nationality

to let you know him even more.

Mano Menezes Bio

  • Full Name: Luiz Antônio Venker de Menezes

  • Nickname: Mano

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Mano Menezes Physical Stats

  • Weight: 75 Kg

  • Height: 1.78 m

  • Eye Color: Light Blue

  • Hair Color: Grey

Mano Menezes Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 6

  • Professional Debut: 1997

Mano Menezes Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 11 June 1962

  • Birth Place: Passo do Sobrado, Brazil

  • Zodiac Sign: Gemini

  • Nationality: Brazilian

In this section of

Mano Menezes biography

stay tuned as we want to share some information about

Mano Menezes childhood

and more.

Mano Menezes Early Life

Menezes played only in amateur football clubs and never turned professional as a player. He went to school for Physical Education and became a coach at the same time as pursuing his amateur football career.

His football career started as a striker, at the Rosário Gaucho club, which was managed by his father. Shortly, he moved back to midfield, then he played as a midfielder and finally, he was established at centre-back. After leaving Rosário, he briefly played for Fluminense de Mato Leitão.

He has soon attracted the interest of Guarani-VA and was signed by the club between the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s. His most important moment with Guarani was in the penalty shootout at the final of the Amateur Championship in 1988. As team captain, he was in charge of the last penalty kick, which he converted.

This title guaranteed Guarani a spot in the second division of the Gaucho Championship. He then started a course in Physical Education at the University of Santa Cruz do Sul (UNISC).

Mano Menezes Profile

He worked for 9 years as a physical trainer in the SESI and was called to coach the youth teams of Guarani-VA, where he had been an amateur football player before. After that, he went on to coach the youth ranks of Caxias and Internacional de Porto Alegre.

In 1997, he also worked as a coach at Cruzeiro with Paulo Autuori, when Cruzeiro was twice champion in the Copa Libertadores. Then he went back, this time as a professional football trainer to Guarani-VA in 1997. After that, he worked as coach of Brasil de Pelotas club and Iraty, respectively in 2002 and 2003. Again in 2003, he was coaching Guarani and remained there for a short period of time.

He earned notoriety in 2004 for his good showing in the Brazil Cup, when he was in command of 15 de Novembro, where he made it to the semi-final stage and came in third place. He was the coach of Caxias between 2004 and 2005 but did not achieve any success there.

In this section of

Mano Menezes biography

stay tuned as we want to share some information about his career at




Mano Menezes joined Gremio in April 2005 to be in charge of leading the Gaucho club once again to the Brazilian Championship Serie A, since the club was relegated the year before. At one of the first games coaching the Gremio team, they lost 4-0 to Anapolina.

The objective was accomplished and in addition to leading the Gaucho team back to the top tier of Brazilian football, Menezes clinched the title of Serie B Champion that year in a match which would become known as "The Battle of the Aflitos" because of the events that occurred during the match and because it was held at the Aflitos Stadium, Náutico's stadium in Recife.

This incident later turned into a film: Inacreditável - A Batalha dos Aflitos, which was released in 2006. During that memorable match, Gremio lost four players by red cards and had two penalties taken against their goal, which were both missed by Náutico. Anderson, one of the midfielders on the team, scored the goal that ensured the Gremio's return to Serie A.

The next year, Mano guided Grêmio to the Gaucho Championship title with a victory over archrival Internacional, a trophy that the club had not won since 2001. His first match in charge of the Gremio in the Brazilian Serie A took place on 16 April 2006, where Mano’s team managed to secure a 2-0 home win against Sport Club



Also in 2006, he managed to finish third in the Brazilian Championship, which allowed Grêmio to play in the Copa Libertadores da América in 2007. He was twice champion in 2007, with a brilliant campaign. In the Libertadores Cup of that year, they knocked out two São Paulo clubs, namely São Paulo in the round of 16 and Santos in the semi-finals, making it to the final, only to lose to Argentina's Boca Juniors in that match.

At the end of 2007, after 169 matches in charge of Grêmio, Mano Menezes stepped down. Having played 169 games, he managed to achieve 89 wins, 35 draws and 45 defeats, which amounts to a win ratio of 59.56%.

He scored 302 points out of a total of 507. He officially ended his tenure at Grêmio on 28 November 2007, when he refused to extend his contract, and coached the team until 2 December 2007, during the last game of the Campeonato Brasileiro.


Mano was appointed head coach of Corinthians at the end of 2007, whose task was to revive the club, which had fallen to Serie B and gone through the most serious crisis in its history. Playing in the Brazil Cup in 2008, he was able to guide the Paulista side to the final against Sport and ended up as runners-up, as won 3-1 at home and lost 2-0 away from home, being beaten according to the away-goal rule.

Following the defeat in the Brazil Cup final, Corinthians turned all their efforts back to Serie B. In a beautiful campaign, with only three defeats, he guided the team to the Series B title on November 8, 2008. A year later, on 3 May 2009, he guided Corinthians to the Paulista Championship title, being undefeated.

He was crowned champion of the Brazil Cup on 1 July 2009, playing the second match of the final against Internacional, at their home ground, and celebrating in the Rio Grande do Sul. As a result, they earned a spot in the 2010 Libertadores Cup.


then turned all its focus to the Libertadores Cup in 2010. The club was disqualified in the State Championship with only two points to the fourth-placed team.

However, in the Libertadores, which was the team's main focus in its centenary year, the team managed by Mano did an excellent job in the group stage, with no defeat. In the round of 16, the team was knocked out by


, and exited the competition prematurely at the end.

Mano Menezes went down in Corinthians history on June 25, 2010, when he won his 100th victory in charge of the team. That victory occurred in a match against Iraty, in the Torneio Cidade de Londrina. Jorge Henrique scored the only goal of the match.

Following an invitation to take charge of the Brazilian National Team, Mano stepped down from Corinthians following two successful years with three titles and a win rate of 64.4% in the 184 games he took part in for the team.

In this section of Mano Menezes biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his Brazil career.

Brazil National Team

After Brazil's exit from the World Cup quarter-finals on 23 July 2010, and the subsequent sacking of then-coach Dunga, Mano Menezes was offered the job of


head coach, and he replaced Carlos Dunga as the new manager of Seleção.

In his first match in charge of Brazil, he managed to clinch a 2-0 victory in a friendly match against the United States in New Jersey. He called up several new faces for this match, including the highly coveted Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso, both of whom missed out on the World Cup.

Neymar scored the goals (at 27', it was his first for the national team and he was able to score on his debut) and Alexandre Pato (at 45'). The international press pointed out the return of the Brazilian national team's "art football", also noting Brazil's technical superiority during the match.

Following the debut match of Menezes, the national team was without a game for the following month, and they had to attend a training camp in Barcelona, playing against Barcelona B, which was won 3-0. Then, the Seleçao played against Iran in October, a game which was won 3-0 with goals from Daniel Alves, Pato and Nilmar, and then against Ukraine, which was also won 2-0 with goals from Daniel Alves and Pato.

In his first three official matches, Mano secured three wins, a record which had not been achieved since Carlos Alberto Parreira in the 1990s. Brazil's fourth match under Mano Menezes was against Argentina, on 17 November 2010, in Qatar. On that occasion, the Brazilian backline was breached for the first time in a 1-0 defeat.

Mano led the team in their first match of 2011, on 9 February, in a 1-0 loss against France. In the sixth match of the five-time World Cup-winning team, which took place in London on 27 March, Brazil triumphed 2-0 against Scotland, with both goals of the victory scored by Neymar.

The national team still participated in more friendly matches in the run-up to the Copa America, like the match against the Netherlands which finished 0-0 and against Romania, which marked


's farewell. However, the Phenomenon failed to score in the match.

The first tournament Mano coached the Brazilian National Team was the Copa América in 2011. In the group stage, the team tied against Venezuela (0-0) and against Paraguay (2-2). Nevertheless, in the last group match, against Ecuador, the Seleção was able to win the match with a 4-2 victory. In the quarter-finals, however, the national team was defeated on penalties against Paraguay, after a scoreless draw.

Two days after lifting the Superclásico das Américas, which was his second title in charge of the Brazilian National Team, Mano Menezes was sacked by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) on 23 November 2012, after a meeting between president José Maria Marin, vice-president Marco Polo Del Nero and team director Andrés Sanches.

The sacking of the coach, which was done after strong performances in friendly matches with five wins and a draw between September and November and the Superclásico title against Argentina, created great controversy in the general sports media, as many journalists claimed this to be a much more of a political decision than a technical one.


He was announced as head coach of Flamengo in June 2013. He managed the club for 22 matches but was unable to achieve a series of good results in the Brazilian Championship. After differences of opinion with the board of directors, who had defined, without the coach's permission, which networks and reporters he could give interviews to, which was not well received by Mano.

He also had some misunderstandings with some players (who had over celebrated a victory), which led to Mano Menezes tendering his resignation when the team was in the fight to avoid relegation. It was exactly on 19 September 2013, when he stepped down from his coaching job at Flamengo following a 4-2 defeat to Atlético Paranaense at the Maracanã.

A second stint at Corinthians

Corinthians confirmed the appointment of Mano Menezes for the 2014 season on 11 December 2013. He came to Timão after the team had not performed well in the 2013 Brasileirão, ending up in the middle of the table, and immediately had a tough job ahead of him: to revive the team, which had undergone a period of exhaustion after its recent struggles.

He spent the entire first half of the year overhauling the squad and disposing of players such as Paulo André, Diego Macedo, Emerson Sheik, Douglas, Edenilson, Ibson, and so on. At the 2014 Paulista Championship, the team did not perform well and failed to get past the first round. However, in the 2014 Brazilian Championship, the team settled in and made a good start in the Brasileirão.

Following the 2014 World Cup, some important new signings came, including Elias (who had been signed from Sporting but was not allowed to play as the European window was not yet open), Petros and Ángel Romero. The three players soon became regular starters and key players in Mano's tactical plan. His contract was not extended in December 2014, and he was replaced by his predecessor in the post, Tite.


Following a period of studying abroad to further enhance his coaching, Mano made his return to the pitch on 6 September 2015, when he debuted for


with a 5-1 win over Figueirense. After the defeat against Clube de Regatas do Flamengo in his second match in charge of the club, Mano’s team were undefeated in the league for a total of 13 matches.

Cruzeiro finally lost again in the last match of the league with a score of 2-0 against Internacional. The team finished the Campeonato Brasileiro in 8th position, and together with Corinthians, had the best campaign of the second half of the season.

He stepped down as coach on 6 December, leaving the team for China's Shandong Luneng, who had offered him a million-dollar contract to hire him as a coach. In this section of Mano Menezes biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his career in China.

Shandong Luneng

The Chinese club

Shandong Luneng

then paid the termination fee on Mano's contract with Cruzeiro and signed him soon after the 2015 Brazilian Championship for two seasons. His first match as the coach of the Chinese club came on 2 February 2016, where he managed to clinch a huge 6-0 win in the Second Round of the AFC Champions League against the Indian club Mohun Bagan AC.

A week later, he did a great job by defeating the Australian club Adelaide United with a score of 1-2, thus qualifying his team for the Group Stage of the AFC Champions League. In that season’s ACL, Shandong Luneng were drawn in Group F with Buriram United, FC Seoul and Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

In their first Group Stage match of the Champions League, Menezes’ team secured a 3-0 home win against

Buriram United

, thus making a good start to their Asian campaign. Four days later, he sat on the team’s bench in the Chinese Super League for the first time, in the opening match against Jiangsu FC, which finished in a 3-0 defeat.

However, on 7 June 2016, he was fired from his post as coach of the club. His poor form and results in the Chinese Super League was the main reason for his sacking, as the team under his guidance only won two matches out of 11 and lost six times.

Despite many setbacks in adapting to Chinese football, after finishing second in their group and after defeating Sydney FC in the Round of 16, Mano managed to take the club to the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League, a first in the club's history.

Return to Cruzeiro

He agreed to come back to Cruzeiro on July 26, 2016. He made his debut with a defeat against Santos, a match in the 17th matchday of the Brazilian Championship, a tournament in which he took the club to 12th place at the end of the season.

He started the 2017 season with a streak of over 20 games undefeated, but the team's fortunes collapsed, as they lost the final of the Mineiro Championship, had an uneven start to the Brazilian Championship and were knocked out early in the first round of the Copa Sud-Americana.

However, on 30 August, Mano Menezes celebrated his 100th match for Cruzeiro in a 2-0 win against Grêmio in the Primeira Liga at Mineirão, which also marked his 50th victory for Cruzeiro.

Cruzeiro, under Mano Menezes' management, clinched their fifth Copa do Brasil Football title of 2017 on 27 September. Following a 0-0 draw in regular time, the Celeste team defeated Flamengo on penalties 5-3. It was Mano Menezes' second title in the national competition.

He renewed his contract for two more seasons, until the end of 2019, on 20 October. In the 2-0 win over Atlético Mineiro on 8 April, which saw Cruzeiro claim the Campeonato Mineiro title, Mano Menezes achieved his 137th match in charge of Cruzeiro, making it into the top 10 of coaches with the most matches in charge of the club.

In the 1-0 win over Palmeiras on 30 May, Mano Menezes achieved the mark of 150 games for Cruzeiro. And on 25 August, in the 2-1 win against Fluminense, Mano Menezes rounded 169 games for Cruzeiro and became the ninth coach who has coached the Celeste club the most in history.

He won his 15th knockout match in charge of Cruzeiro on 29 August in a 1-0 defeat of Flamengo - the match that sent Cruzeiro to the quarter-finals of the Copa Libertadores da América - and reached 170 games for Cruzeiro, thus becoming the eighth coach who has coached the Minas Gerais club the most times in history.

He clinched the Brazil Cup with Cruzeiro on 17 October, after their 2-1 win over Corinthians. That became Mano Menezes' 3rd title in the domestic competition, and his second in a row at the helm of the Brazilian club.

Cruzeiro drew 1-1 with Atlético Mineiro on 20 April, thus capturing their second straight championship, making it the 38th title in the club's history and the coach's fourth title at the club (two Brazilian Cups and two Mineiro Championships).

He became the first coach to receive a yellow card in the history of the competition on 27 April, in the match that ended 3-1 between Flamengo and Cruzeiro, in the first round of the Brasileirão. Menezes announced his departure from the Celeste team on 7 August, following a 0-1 loss to Internacional in the Brazil Cup.


He signed a contract with Palmeiras on 3 September 2019 until the end of 2021 and replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari. He first coached the team in the league match against Goiás Esporte Clube, which finished in a 1-2 away win for the team. In fact, Mano Menezes was able to win the first five league matches since his appointment as the new coach of the team, defeating the likes of Fluminense Football Club, Cruzeiro Esporte Clube and Sport Club Internacional, among others.

His first defeat on the bench of Palmeiras came on the 24th matchday of the Brazilian Serie A when they suffered a 2-0 away loss against Santos FC. Following that match, the team started an undefeated run for 9 matches in the league, securing six wins and three draws.

On 1 December, he was dismissed from his job after a defeat to Flamengo, which was their third consecutive defeat in the last three matches of the league. He coached the team in 20 games: there were 11 wins, four defeats and five draws.


He was appointed as the new coach of


on 8 September 2020, signing a contract until the end of 2021 and taking over from interim coach Cláudio Mendes Prates. His first match in charge of the Bahia club came on 13 September 2020, in the 10th matchday of the Brazilian Seria A against Atlético Clube Goianiense, a match which was lost 0-1.

His first win on the bench of the Bahia team was achieved against Botafogo, which they won 1-2. The highlight of his tenure at Bahia was the four consecutive wins they clinched between 6 November and 20 November 2020, in the league and

Copa Sudamericana


However, after five consecutive defeats in the league and Copa Sudamericana, he was fired on 20 December 2020, immediately after a 4-3 defeat to Flamengo, leaving the club in 16th position in the Brazilian Championship.

Al Nassr

He was announced as Al-Nassr's new manager on 9 April 2021. Some 20 days later, he sat on the bench of his new team for the first time in the group stage of the

AFC Champions League

against the Qatari club Al-Sadd SC. His debut was a success and the team managed to win 2-1 against their opponent.

His first match in the Saudi Professional League came a few days later, where he and the team managed to clinch a 4-3 home win against Al-Faisaly Harmah. They also won the next two league matches against Al-Ain and Al-Raed, before drawing 1-1 with


Mekka and losing their last league match of the season against Al-Ittihad Jeddah.

Mano Menezes started the new 2021-22 season on the bench of

Al Nassr

with a convincing 4-1 win over Damac FC. However, they experienced their first defeat of the season six days later on 19 August 2021, with a 2-1 loss against Al-Faisaly Harmah.

Style of Play

Mano Menezes is one of the very tactical current Brazilian football coaches out there, who like to play with different systems and tactics. His playing systems are different in various teams, for example, while at Al Nassr he almost all of the time uses 4-2-3-1, but when he was the coach of Brazil, he utilized many different systems. In his tactics, he usually prevents defenders from kicking the ball and rather asks them to start the play from the backline.


Although his reputation in Brazilian football has declined over the recent years, nevertheless, he still remains one of the best Brazilian head coaches out there. Some experts claim that if the Brazilian federation gave him more time, he was able to achieve great success with the national team.

Mano Menezes outside Football

Mano has dedicated his life to his career as a football coach and has no business other than football. However, in an interview, he admitted that he intends to retire soon and spend more time with his family, as they are the one’s who suffer more. According to Menezes, he does not remember how many times he wasn’t present at her daughter’s birthday party and because of that, he wants to do more for his family after retiring from football.

Mano Menezes Personal Life

In this section of Mano Menezes biography, we will take a look into his personal life and share some info about

Mano Menezes life story


Mano Menezes religion


Family, Children and Relationships

Mano Menezes has long been married to his wife Maria Inês and the couple has a daughter named Camilla and a grandson. He has announced several times that he intends to spend more time with them after his retirement.

His daughter got married in January 2011. The wedding was held in a traditional Porto Alegre club and was attended by almost 200 guests. The ceremony was marked by the attendance of leaders of major Brazilian football clubs such as Andrés Sanches, president of Corinthians, the former team of the coach of the Seleção, and Kléber Leite, former president of Flamengo. The president of Grêmio, Paulo Odone, the first big club coached by Mano, was also one of the top officials at the party.


During his career, he has always been part of many charitable causes and we have seen him coaching many teams in different charity matches.

Legal Issues

There are no reports of any legal issues or disputes about Mano Menezes in the Portuguese or English media at the time of writing this article.

Mano Menezes Career Statistics

In this section of Mano Menezes biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the international and club level.


Menezes has spent all of his playing career at the amateur level and never was able to play with any professional football teams in Brazil.


He has a win ratio of 59 percent with 432 wins, 208 draws and 198 defeats in a total of 838 matches he has managed different teams during his coaching career.

Mano Menezes Honors

Of his notable awards and titles during his career we can include Campeonato Brasileiro Série B, Campeonato Paulista, Copa do Brasil, Campeonato Mineiro, SuperClássico de las Américas and some others.

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