By Andrew Downie
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Australia have approached World Cup winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari about leading them to the 2018 tournament in Russia, the former Brazil and Portugal boss has told Reuters.
Scolari, who recently ended a two-and-a-half year stint with a club side in China, said the Socceroos had spoken with his agent about him replacing Ange Postecoglou, who resigned in November.
“I am one of the names they spoke with… to see if I was interested in taking them to the World Cup,” Scolari told Reuters in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.”
Scolari said he was happy to discuss a role with the Australians, but would want it to be long-term, not just for the June-July 2018 tournament.
“I don’t intend in just taking a team to the World Cup,” the former Chelsea manager added. “I intend on leading a team with an organized project for one or two years. But I am interested.”
Australia qualified for Russia after beating Honduras in an intercontinental playoff and have been drawn in Group C against France, Peru and Denmark. Postecoglou quit the Socceroos a week after securing Australia’s spot.
Having led Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002, Scolari suffered the ignominy of a 7-1 home defeat by Germany in the 2014 tournament — their first home loss since 1975 — and an event Scolari described at the time as the “worst day of my life”. Days later his Brazil tenure came to an end after a 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands in a third-fourth place play-off.
(Editing by: Ossian Shine)