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Brazil sack coach Mano Menezes

Mano Menezes has been axed as coach of the Brazil national team after a Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) meeting in Sao Paulo on Friday.

• Malyon: Brazil back to square one

Former Corinthians and Gremio boss Menezes has been at the Brazil helm for two years and three months, but since failing to deliver the 2012 Olympic title in August, speculation about the 50-year-old's future had been rife.

Defeat to Mexico in the final of the Olympics came a year after Menezes oversaw Brazil's worst Copa America performance in more than a decade, with the Selecao eliminated by Paraguay on penalties in the quarter-finals.

Victory in successive Superclasico de las Americas against Argentina in 2011 and 2012 were not good enough for Menezes, who claimed 21 wins, six draws and six defeats from his 33 matches in charge, to hold on to his job.

Brazil squad director Andres Sanchez revealed a new boss would be named in January and that there were at least seven candidates in contention, though he appeared to question the decision, saying: "I respect and understand the arguments of the directors, but I think this isn't the correct moment.''

Menezes ushered some youthful faces into the national team set-up during his tenure with the likes of Neymar, Oscar, Lucas Moura, Leandro Damiao and David Luiz making their debuts under him, but he was also responsible for Brazil falling out of the top ten of the FIFA World Rankings for the first time in their history.

Santos manager Muricy Ramalho, Corinthians boss Tite and Brazil's 2002 World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari have emerged as early favourites to succeed Menezes, with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola also reportedly in contention.

Five-time world champions Brazil are hosting football's showpiece competition in 2014 and are desperate to lift the trophy on home soil for the first time, having lost to Uruguay in 1950 when the tournament was last played there.

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