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Nov 24, 2012

Brazil outlines plans to pick new coach

SAO PAULO -- The Brazilian football federation says discussions to select the new national coach will take place between Christmas and the New Year, with the announcement expected early in January.

The federation needs to find a new coach after firing Mano Menezes on Friday, saying it was not pleased with his methods.

"A meeting scheduled for after Christmas will determine the new coach," federation director Andres Sanchez said. "The coach needs to be in place by January."

Brazil will host next year's Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.

World Cup winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is the fan favorite, but Sanchez said other top coaches in Brazil also could considered, including Muricy Ramalho, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, Abel Braga and Tite.

Sanchez dismissed the possibility of hiring an inexperienced coach like Dunga, who was picked for the national team in 2006 despite not having any coaching experience.

Brazilian media said Saturday that former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola also is a candidate and the Lance sports daily published an interview with a source close to Guardiola that said he would "take the job tomorrow" if offered.

Sanchez, the top director in charge of the national team, is against hiring a foreign coach.

"Brazil has many great coaches today, it makes no sense to go looking for someone abroad," he said.

The director didn't dismiss the possibility that it could happen, though, as he was also against the firing of Menezes.

Sanchez said he didn't want to dismiss Menezes after the coach had already established his methods, but federation president Jose Maria Marin and other directors thought it would be better to move in a new direction.

Menezes had 21 victories, six losses and six draws since taking over the national team after the 2010 World Cup. Brazil had been winning recently, but the coach was marked by disappointing results against traditional rivals such as Germany, France, Argentina and the Netherlands.

He also failed to win the Copa America and failed to win Olympic gold, which is the only soccer trophy the five-time world champions haven't won.

"I'd like to thank everyone who has worked with me in this project, especially the players and everyone else who believed in our work," Menezes said on Twitter. "I wish the national team a lot of success fulfilling the dream of our fans to win the sixth world title in 2014."

Scolari, who led Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title, has been touted as the front-runner to replace Menezes.

The former Portugal and Chelsea coach is without a job since leaving struggling Palmeiras, which was eventually relegated to the second division in the Brazilian league this month.

The coach never ruled out returning to the national team and recently turned down offers to coach Brazilian clubs Gremio and Cruzeiro and the Russian national team.

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