Well, that was unexpected. Most of you should be aware of it, but a few hours ago in this sunny Friday afternoon here in Brazil, most specifically in São Paulo’s State Federation of Football, CBF announced that Mano Menezes was fired from his position as Brazil’s national team coach.
He was already hanging on his job ever since the loss to Mexico in the Olympics back in August. Brazil had a few good games, struggled a bit coming into the last rounds and fell to Mexico, who’s historically a tough opponent against the Seleção. After that, he had a nice run in some friendlies, trouncing countries such as China and Japan. His last game was the second leg of “Copa Roca” (that shouldn’t be called “Superclassico”, but I’ll explain why later), which Brazil lost 2-1 but won the penalty challenge.
According to CBF, his back- up will be announced in January. Rumor says the leader in the “run” is Corinthians’ coach Tite, who won the Copa Libertadores this year and the Brazilian National League in 2011, but the “dream” catch would be convincing Pep Guardiola to come back earlier from his sabbatical.
In all fairness, that’s an unexpected move. His team seemed to be clicking in the last run of games. Recalling Kaká even though he wasn’t being used by José Mourinho at Real Madrid was one of his good moves, and the team seemed to be gluing.
But at a personal level, I never really liked him. He has a pretty strange and obscure connection with Carlos Leite, who is his agent and also an employee of many of Brazil’s current players. He insisted to call Porto and Shakhtar players who were clearly under Brazil’s level. He also had personal issues with players like Real Madrid’s Marcelo and Fluminense’s Fred; issue that many times impeded him of calling these players to improve Brazil’s squad.
Maybe not only Mano Menezes but also Andrés Sanchez, Director of National Teams (yes, that job exists in CBF) can leave the job as he seemed to be the only one backing up Mano’s position. So, things can get much messier…