Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, world champion as Brazil coach in 2002, assumed command of Cruzeiro on Thursday with the mission of preventing the traditional Belo Horizonte club from falling to the third division.
Scolari’s hiring was announced this Thursday by the management of the blue club, which last year was relegated to the second division and is currently at risk of falling to third, since it is the penultimate in the standings.
‘Felipao’, as he is popularly known, had initially rejected the proposal to take over at Cruzeiro, but finally accepted it after the club offered him a contract until December 2022 and a sponsor promised to pay his salaries.
“I did not want to command the team just this year. I wanted this year that is ending and continue in 2021, 2022 and 2023. I will be with you giving everything I can and contribute with my knowledge to everything that Cruzeiro also gave me. “said the coach in a video published by the club on its social networks and referring to his previous passage, almost 20 years ago, in 2000 and 2001.
The new coach, who was without a club since he was fired last year from Palmeiras, led Cruzeiro for 75 games in 2000 and 2001 with a balance of 40 wins, 23 draws and 12 losses, but with just one title: the Copa Sul -Mines in 2001.
Scolari will replace Ney Franco, dismissed last Sunday after a new setback by Cruzeiro in the dispute of the Brazilian Second Division Championship. The new defeat sunk the team to the penultimate position in the standings, with 12 points in 16 games played. According to mathematicians, the possibility of a new and humiliating decline is 52.5% and that of a return to the first division is 1.1%.
Scolari will be Cruzeiro’s fourth coach this year after Franco, Adilson Batista and Enderson Moreira. The former were fired due to the early elimination of the team from both the Mineiro Championship and the Brazil Cup.
Cruzeiro, one of the most traditional clubs in Brazil, has 20 titles, including two from the Copa Libertadores, four from the Brazilian First Division Championship and six from the Copa do Brasil. Until last year it was one of the four Brazilian clubs that had never been relegated to the second division.
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