Brazil rejected in bid for hiring national soccer coach; Ramalho to stay with Fluminense club

By Tales Azzoni, AP
Friday, July 23, 2010

Brazil still seeks coach; Ramalho stays with club

SAO PAULO — Brazil’s national soccer team was spurned Friday in its attempt to hire a coach, with Maricy Ramalho staying at his Fluminense club because of contractual obligations.

Brazil, a five-time World Cup, champion is looking to replace Dunga. He was fired days after a loss to the Netherlands in the World Cup quarterfinals in South Africa. Brazil will host the tournament in 2014.

The 54-year-old Ramalho has little experience abroad but is one of the most respected coaches in Brazilian soccer.

The Brazilian federation offered him the job Friday, but the deal was contingent on an agreement with Fluminense. The directors of the Rio de Janeiro club say the coach will remain with the team until his contract expires at the end of 2012.

Federation president Ricardo Teixeira says Ramalho told him he wanted to coach the national team and agreed with its plan for the 2014 World Cup. Ramalho has long said his ultimate goal is to coach Brazil, and before talking with Fluminense directors he had hinted he would accept the federation’s offer.

“Who wouldn’t want to coach the Brazilian national team?” he told ESPN Brasil’s website.

Even Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had already commented on the man he thought was the new national team coach, saying he was a “good choice.”

Other names touted for the position include World Cup winner Luiz Felipe Scolari, former Real Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo and Corinthians coach Mano Menezes.

Ramalho led Sao Paulo to three consecutive Brazilian league titles (2006-08) and Internacional to a runner-up finish in 2005. He was honored as the league’s best coach all four years.

Ramalho has also coached nine other teams in Brazil, as well as China’s Shanghai Shenhua. Between 1973 and 1979 he played for Sao Paulo as a midfielder, scoring 26 goals in 177 games.

On Monday, Brazil’s national team will announce its squad for its Aug. 10 exhibition against the United States in New Jersey.

Associated Press Writer Stan Lehman contributed to this report.

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