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By ESPN Staff

Poor World Cup forces Parreira to quit Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 19 (Reuters) - Carlos Alberto Parreira resigned as Brazil coach on Wednesday following their World Cup quarter-final exit, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said.

'After a meeting held this morning... with CBF president Ricardo Teixeira, coach Carlos Alberto Parreira left the Brazilian national team,' said a statement on the CBF's official website.

'It was a joint decision and Parreira will not have, from today, any professional connection with the Brazilian Football Confederation.'

Former Real Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo, who was in charge of Brazil from 1998 to 2000, and former Sao Paulo and Peru coach Paulo Autuori are the favourites to take over.

The controversial Luxemburgo is currently coach of Santos and Autuori is in Japan with Kashima Antlers.

Luiz Felipe Scolari, Brazil's 2002 World Cup winner and widely regarded as the first choice to take over, has already signed an extension to his contract with Portugal until 2008.

Parreira, who led Brazil to their fourth world title in 1994 but was even then criticised for abandoning traditional flair, had been at the helm since the start of 2003 in his third stint in charge of the national team.

He won the 2004 Copa America and the 2005 Confederations Cup, on both occasions beating arch-rivals Argentina in the final. His overall record in 53 full internationals was 29 wins, 17 draws and seven defeats.

Parreira was also Brazil coach for one year between 1983 and 1984.

Brazil lost 1-0 to France at the World Cup after starting as hot favourites and Parreira's departure had been widely expected since their surprise exit on July 1.

He was widely criticised for persisting with veteran fullbacks Cafu and Roberto Carlos as well as striker Ronaldo when he appeared to be short of match fitness.

Critics also said Parreira's team was excessively cautious and that he failed to coax the best out of talents such as Ronaldinho and Kaka.

Brazil were widely regarded as the biggest let down at the finals in Germany.

No coach has ever carried on with Brazil after failing to win the World Cup although the late Tele Santana, whose memorable side fell at the second group stage in 1982, later returned to lead the team four years later in Mexico.

There had been speculation Parreira would continue or be moved up to an administrative post but the CBF said the 63-year-old wanted more time with his family.

Parreira began his career as a fitness coach and was on the staff of the Brazil squad when they won their third world title in 1970.

He later turned to coaching and led Kuwait at the 1982 World Cup, the United Arab Emirates in 1990 and Saudi Arabia in 1998.

He also had stints with Spanish club Valencia and Turkey's Fenerbahce, led Fluminense to their only Brazilian championship success in 1994 and finished runners-up in the same competition with Bragantino and Corinthians.

'The coach said he needed to dedicate himself to his family and unwind after nearly four years at the helm of the Brazilian national team,' said the CBF.

'The new coach will be announced shortly.'