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Jul 7, 2006

Scolari still in talks over Portugal future

STUTTGART, July 7 (Reuters) - Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari denied reports that he would quit after the World Cup, saying he was still discussing continuing.

'There's a possibility I will stay and there's a possibility I won't,' he told reporters on the eve of the third-place playoff against hosts Germany.

Scolari has given Portugal a new cutting edge during his three-and-a-half-years as coach, leading the previously underachieving team to runners-up in the European Championship and the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Their hopes of a first World Cup final appearance ended with Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to France.

The Brazilian said that money was not his priority.

'At this stage in my life, I want sun, Bermuda shorts and sand,' said Scolari, who won the World Cup with Brazil four years ago.

He added: 'If I show you the offers I've had in the last three years from clubs and other nationals, then I can say I've lost a lot of money.

'But, in truth, I've come out winning because of everything I have in Portugal, with the federation, the directors, the people who work with me and the players.

'FANTASTIC ATMOSPHERE'

'I have a fantastic atmosphere with most of the Portuguese population and I couldn't ask for more. Money is not everything in life.'

He added: 'I did a lot of things in my life for financial motives. When I needed it, I chased after it and I saved it. Now, I have no worries in that sense.'

Earlier on Friday, a Portuguese sports daily had reported that Scolari would be leaving the job, although it said he might continue to live in the country.

Last week, a different sports daily said that Scolari was close to agreeing an extension to his contract.

'As I've said all along, I need time to talk to the president. We've been talking, not every day, and we are seeing how we can solve one or two problems and come to an agreement.

'There's a good chance I will continue. After the last game, I will go home, sit down a bit, think a bit and then decide something.'

Scolari did not rule out coaching Brazil again in the future.

'I always said that I would think about it if I were asked,' he said. 'It was a marvellous period I had with them and it left a mark on my life.'

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