No matter how great the Amazon Rainforest is or how spectacular their Carnivals are, still football is the first thing that comes to mind when you are talking about Brazil. Stay tuned if you want to meet the best Brazilian managers of all time.
Brazil has won the FIFA World Cup - the biggest sporting event in the world – on five occasions; more than any other country in the world. That explains why they were always have been considered as one of the most important nations in the history of the game. If you take a look at the list of the greatest footballers of all time, you will come across so many Brazilian players such as Pele,Garrincha
, Socrates, Cafu, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and the list goes on and on.
Brazilian football is relied heavily on the player’s individual brilliance on the pitch. Therefore, it is safe to say that there is a huge gap in terms of quality when you compare the Brazilian players to Brazilian coaches, but still the country had some successful tacticians who enjoyed a wonderful coaching career. That is why we decided to put spotlight on the
greatest Brazilian coaches
in the history of football. Managers who won numerous titles and wrote their name in history as the best Brazilian managers of all time.
There is a saying in football that goes, “managers are judged by their results” and that was our guideline in creating a 10-men list of the best Brazilian managers of all time. Below you will see the shortlist of some of the most successful and famous Brazilian managers of all time:
Luís Alonso Pérez
Carlos Alberto Parreira
Luiz Felipe Scolari
Now, let’s not waste any time and get into the details by having a career review of these managers and see how they made their way into our best Brazilian managers of all time list.
As one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of football, Émerson Leão was the first goalkeeper that became the captain of Brazil national team back in the 1978 World Cup. During his playing career Leão was a key part ofPalmeiras
golden generation in 1970s and won a lot of titles with them. Shortly after hanging up his gloves, Leão started coaching in 1987 at Sport Recife. He celebrated a Campeonato Brasileiro title on his debut season as a manager and went on to coach several Brazilian sided until in 1992 had a long trip to Japan.
Émerson Leão had a few spells at various Japanese clubs and won a couple of titles with them. but the highlight of his career was in 1997 when he guided Atlético Mineiro to its second ever international title which was a Copa Conmebol. On the following season Leão replicated that achievement but this time with Santos to become the only Brazilian manager that has two Copa Conmebol to his name. Although he is not the most decorated Brazilian manager out there, Émerson Leão had some spectacular seasons from time to time and we could consider him as one of the best Brazilian managers of all time.
He was 34 years old when he experienced his first head coaching role atFlamengo
on 1984. A Campeonato Carioca was Sebastião Lazaroni’s first title which came with Flamengo. He managed to win the torunoment two more times with his next team, Vasco da Gama. Sebastião Barroso Lazaroni had a unique style of play in Brazilian football those days. He preferred to play with three men at the back with a libero as the middle defender. In 1989 Lazaroni was awarded with a national team job prior to the South American Championship as known as Copa America.
Brazil’s last championship in the tournament came in 1949 and Lazaroni had a huge task of leading Brazil to conquer the South American football for the first time in 39 years. With a young and extremely talented squad consisted of Taffarel, Mazinho, Aldair, Romario, Bebeto, and Dunga, Lazaroni managed to lift up the title as they beat Uruguay in the final. That championship built up expectations for the 1990 World Cup but Brazil got eliminated in the second round by Argentina and Lazaroni left the Selecao (Brazil national team nickname). Since then, a few domestic cups with Asian clubs and ending Manchester United’s 40-year undefeated European home record with Fenerbahce on 1996 were Sebastião Lazaroni’s career highlights.
His short career as a left wingback came to an end in 1980 and three years later his successful caching career has started. Vanderlei Luxemburgo enjoyed some good years at Braganito and led them to a Brazilian Serie B title in 1989. Two back-to-back Serie A titles with Palmeiras showed that Luxemburgo could be on his way to become one of the
best Brazilian managers of all time
. Before taking the national job in 1998, Luxemburgo added another six domestic titles to his name with Palmeiras, Santos and Corinthians.
In the 1999 Copa America, Brazil put on an astonishing performance under Luxemburgo and managed to win the tournament undefeated beating Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay in the knockout stage. After a disappointing result at the 2000 Olympic Games, Luxemburgo returned to club football and won his fourth Brazilian Serie A title with Cruzeiro in 2003. The fifth one came with Santos in the following season. Alongside Lula, Vanderlei Luxemburgo da Silva with five championships is a record holder for winning the most Brazilian league titles. He is currently coachingCruzeiro
and who knows? Maybe he can win his sixth Serie A title in the coming years and become the first Brazilian manager to do so.
As a former futsal player, Paulo Autuori had to give up his dreams of becoming a professional player due to an illness. But he couldn’t stand staying away from football and started his coaching career in 1975 while he was still a teenager! After two decades of gaining experience and managing at various clubs, Autuori won his first major trophy which was a Serie A title with Botafogo In 1995. Two years later he joined Cruzeiro and on his debut season, Autuori won the Campeonato Mineiro and the Copa Libertadores titles to prove that he is one of the greatest Brazilian coaches.
Years later Autuori decided to have a taste of Peruvian football and won two league titles with Alianza Lima and Sporting Cristal. In 2005 he made his return to Brazilian football to take charge atSao Paulo
and led his side to a Copa Libertadores title. There are only four Brazilian managers that have won the Libertadores on two occasions and Paulo Autuori is one of them. On the same year, Sao Paulo managed to defeat Liverpool in the FIFA Club World Cup final and became the second nun-European side to claim the trophy. His fruitful eras at Cruzeiro and Sao Paulo made Paulo Autuori one of the best Brazilian managers of all time.
The current manager of Brazil national team, was a midfielder during his playing days who played in the lower divisions of Brazilian football. Since 1990 Adenor Leonardo Bacchi as knonw as Tite started a coaching career and back then nobody would have guessed that one day, he will be one of the most
famous Brazilian managers
. Tite made a name for himself when he won a Copa do Brasil title with Gremio in 2001. In 2008 he joined Internacional as a well-experienced coach and won three titles in his only season at the club, including a Copa Sudamericana.
Tite’s best years came with Corinthians during two separate spells from 2010 to 2016. Two league titles, a Copa Libertadores and a FIFA World Cup title made him a club legend at Corinthians. It’s safe to say that Brazil national team was far away from its golden days during the last decade. But since Tite took control in 2016, it seems that he is the man who can build a winning team with likes of Neymar, Marquinhos, andAlisson
. Winning the Copa America after 12 years in 2019 was a proof of that. Now every Brazil fan has high hopes for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar because of what Tite did during the past years.
We mentioned his name earlier in this article because of his joint record of winning the most Brazilian Serie A title which is five titles. The truth is, you can see Luís Alonso Pérez as known as Lula’s name on several Brazilian managers related records. Apart from winning the most league titles, Lula has also won most Intercontinental club level Cups (2) and most Copa Libertadores titles (2) as a Brazilian manager. Things get more interesting if you know that he was a baker, a milkman and a taxicab whilst he was gaining coaching experience at amateur clubs. In 1952 Luís Alonso Pérez got appointed as the coach ofSantos
youth team and now he could dream even bigger than before.
Two years later Lula became the head coach of the Santos first team and started one of the most prosperous eras in the club’s history. During his 12 years at the club, Lula won 21 titles including five league titles, two Libertadores titles and two Intercontinental Cup titles by beating the mighty European sides, Benfica and Milan respectively in 1962 and 1963. Apart from winning precious silverwares, Lula also had a good eye for young talents. He was the manager that gave opportunity to some legendary players such as Pele, Lima, Pepe, Zito and many others to develop their skills and flourish as a prospect during their early years of career.
Yet one of the other famous coaches from Brazil that has no experience as a professional football player. Carlos Alberto Parreira got appointed as the head coach of Ghana national team in 1968 which was his first job as a professional manager in the age of 23. Years later Parreira showed his potential by winning a the Arabian Guld Cup and AFC Asian Cup with Kuwait during the early 1980s. Leading Fluminense to a Serie A title in 1984 and Saudi Arabia to another AFC Asian Cup in 1988 were decent achievements. But what made Carlos Alberto Parreira one of the
best Brazilian managers of all time
was winning the World Cup in 1994.
With highly gifted players such as Romario,Bebeto
, Branco, and Aldair, Brazil was considered as one of the title contenders in the tournament. After beating the hosts, United States in the round of 16, Brazil went on to eliminate Netherlands and then Sweden to face against Italy in the final which they won on the penalty shoutouts after a goalless draw. Almost a decade later, Parreira reunited with the national team and led the Selecao to Copa America and FIFA Confederations Cup gold medals in 2004 and 2005 respectively. With winning some important international titles with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and South Africa, Carlos Alberto Parreira is one of the most successful national team coaches in the history of football.
Not only he is one of the best Brazilian managers of all time but also, Telê Santana is one of the most beloved managers in the Brazilian football. As a player, Santana had more than 500 games in theFluminense
colors. He also started coaching at the same club and won two domestic titles on his debut season in 1969. Before taking the national team job in 1980, Telê Santana won another three titles with Atletico Mineiro and Gremio. Brazilians love a style of play which is called jogo bonito - meaning beautiful game in Portuguese – and Telê Santana was the coach who is known for re-inventing that style.
His insist on attacking play mesmerized fans all around the world and you could easily fall in love with the teams that were coached by him. Santana’s Brazil in the 1982 World Cup is often recalled as one of the greatest teams that didn’t win the World Cup. In that tournament Brazil scored 15 games in just five matches and got eliminated by Italy who went on to win the trophy. Four years later had another go with the national team but again couldn’t reach to the semi-finals as the lost in penalty shoutouts to France. With 18 titles throughout his career including two Copa Libertadores titles, Telê Santana is one of the most decorated South American managers of all time.
As the only Brazilian coach that have managed a club in the English Premier League, Luiz Felipe Scolari is one of the most
famous coaches from Brazil
. His career as a professional defender didn’t last more than a decade and he started coaching since 1982 in Brazilian lower divisions. His first achievement at the Brazilian football was a Copa do Brasil with Criciuma in 1991. Later Scolari joined Gremio and won four titles including the Serie A and Copa Libertadores trophies. Another successful spell this time at Palmeiras and repeating the Copa Libertadores championship made him one of the greatest Brazilian coaches back then. Prior to the 2002 World Cup, Luiz Felipe Scolari was given the national team job.
He was blessed by some of the greatest players of all time like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Cafu, Rivaldo and the list goes on. Scolari didn’t disappoint and put on a solid performance as his team beat Belgium, England, and Turkey with only conceding one goal on their way to the final against Germany. Brazil dominated the match and a brace from Ronaldo meant that Brazil is the first and up to this day the only team in the world that has five World Cup titles to its name. A runner-up place in the EURO 2004 with Portugal, an AFC Champions League withGuangzhou Evergrande
in 2015 and a FIFA Confederations Cup championship with Brazil in 2013 were Luiz Felipe Scolari’s career highlight since then.
He is one of the few players in history that has won two World Cup gold medals in 1958 and 1962. As a player, Mário Zagallo enjoyed playing alongside Pele in the Brazil national team and said his farewell to the pitch in 1965. Zagallo managed so many elite Brazilian clubs but his successful spells at Brazil national team are what made him one of the best Brazilian managers of all time. His first spell at the Selecao started in 1970 where he had to coach his former teammate,Pele
in the Mexico World Cup. Zagallo implemented a highly attacking football and knocked out Peru and Uruguay to face against Italy in the final where they smashed the opponent by four goals to one.
Fast forward to two decades later, Mário Zagallo returned to Brazil national team to succeed Carlos Alberto Parreira who have just won the 1994 World Cup. Reaching to two consecutive Copa America finals and winning one of them and lifting up the FIFA Confederations Cup trophy in 1997 meant that Brazil was thriving under Mario Zagallo and was ready for the 1998 World Cup. With Ronaldo leading the attack, Brazil defeated Chile, Denmark, and Netherlands on its way to the final where they have to meet against the hosts, France. But shockingly Brazil was outplayed by France and lost the match by three goals to nil. Nevertheless, Mario Zagallo enjoyed some delightful years at the Brazil national team and cemented his name as one of the
best Brazilian managers of all time
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