A couple weeks ago, a rumour grew in Brazil about Corinthians coach Tite being linked with Inter, following Andrea Stramaccioni’s disappointing season at the helm of the Milano club.
Despite Massimo Moratti having dismissed any talks regarding the subject, these piece of news, that could be merely speculation by the coach’s agent, brought to my attention something quite interesting.
Brazil never really had a coach that achieved great success in Europe. And that’s even considering old times, like when Didi went to Turkey to coach Fenerbahce and won two seasons of the Turkish League.
All success of Brazilian coaches in Europe was either in Portugal (with Carlos Alberto Silva taking the Portuguese League with Porto) or in Turkey (besides Didi, both Zico and Carlos Alberto Parreira took Fenerbahce to win the Turkish top-flight league).
For some strange reason, the Turks are very fond of Brazilian management, specially Fenerbahce, that additionally to the names mentioned above, also had Sebastião Lazaroni as their head coach.
Then, there are the Portuguese affairs. Both Brazilian and Portuguese obviously attracted to work together because of the language and historical closeness. Add to that the fact that Portugal has always imported many Brazilian players and you have a great reason to have managers from the same country to take control of the teams.
Aside from this, experiences of Brazilians as head coach in Europe are few and most of them came after Brazil played a World Cup. That was the case of Fiorentina with Lazaroni in 92, Parreira with Valencia in 94-95 and Luiz Felipe Scolari with Chelsea in 08-09.
None of these had great success. Scolari was the one with the better record among them (65.7% of the points), but that was insufficient to keep things under control outside the four lines, where it is said that the trio Drogba-Cole-Lampard was doing everything to get rid of the Brazilian.
To add to this small list, there is still Vanderlei Luxemburgo, that left Santos after a successful national league winning season to become Real Madrid’s manager, in the middle of the Galacticos era. In 44 matches (8 more than Scolari at Chelsea), he managed to get 68,1% of the points, also having internal problems and delivering a much smaller percentage of points taking into account the caliber of players he had in his hands.
Since my point is to talk about Brazilian managers that could leave Brazil to manage an European top club, note that I haven’t mentioned both Ricardo Gomes and Leonardo. Gomes began his managerial career at PSG and in France also coached Bordeaux and Monaco.
Leonardo was given his first chance when he was a director at Milan, then after a failed attempt, he was hired by their rivals and became Inter’s manager. Once again, things didn’t work and once again he is back to the executive side, working for PSG as their main director in football.
This makes me wonder how Brazil had so much success internationally, it definitely seems like Europeans don’t really trust the Brazilian way of play.
But that could change soon.
Tite, that took Corinthians to win the National title in 2011 and won both the Libertadores Cup and the FIFA’s World Cup Club in 2012 could be the chosen one. And for those following Brazilian football, wouldn’t be a surprise.
The 51 year old is on the prime of his managerial career. He took a side that had the label of being “scared” to win the Libertadores Cup and turned into a devastating football machine, not only securing the title, but doing it without any defeat.
With a football style that resembles the German one played now, which is bringing praise from the whole football world, Tite turned into the preferred head coach of Brazilian press and the most respected among experts of the trade.
Not only the style of the team play impressed. His handling of both media and players has been highly acclaimed, when with strong hand he managed the likes of Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Adriano out of the team, not to destroy the harmony and competitiveness of the squad.
These are strong reasons why we shall see him snatched by a top club in Europe in the near future.
But he is not the only one that I see as a potential candidate to feature in big European leagues in the coming couple years. Dunga, former Brazilian national coach and experienced regarding European football after playing 7 seasons in Italy and Germany, could also be a contender.
To his advantage goes the fact that he is a polyglot, a great work with the Brazilian national team (despite the elimination against Holland on 2010’s World Cup in the quarters) and a proven track record when it comes to dealing with big names.
He is currently at Internacional, one of Brazil’s biggest clubs and counts with stars like Andres D’Alessandro, Diego Forlán and AVB’s main transfer target for the summer, Leandro Damião. I could really see him coaching an Italian or German side in the coming years.
To join them, there is also Cuca, a former talented midfielder, that has been doing some great work around Brazil and has now settled at Atlético Mineiro. He is the main responsible for Ronaldinho’s recovery and is leading a squad that is spreading fear amongst other possible contenders of the Libertadores Cup.
Against him, Cuca has the lack of international experience (he played half year for Valladolid in 1990) and I believe he doesn’t speak any other language than Portuguese. He could be a great addition to Portuguese league as a step to enter the European market, and many sides could benefit from his football knowledge.
Everyone that is following the work of these three guys, knows that there is a place for them in the big leagues in Europe, hopefully, they will be given a chance, because it is about time. What do you think?