Brazil name Dorival Junior as new head coach

Dorival Junior has been officially appointed Brazil coach, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) announced on Wednesday.

The 61-year-old confirmed on Sunday his decision to leave Sao Paulo and take charge of Brazil after the CBF sacked interim coach Fernando Diniz on Friday.

“Dorival Junior is the new coach of the men’s national team. He will be presented at a news conference this Thursday at the CBF headquarters in Rio de Janeiro,” the CBF said in a statement.

Dorival steps in after a turbulent period following Brazil’s 2022 World Cup exit following a penalty shootout loss to Croatia, which led to the sacking of coach Tite.

Brazil were led by Under-20 coach Ramon Menezes before the appointment on an interim basis of Diniz last year. Diniz was sacked on Friday, a day after Ednaldo Rodrigues was reinstated as head of the CBF following his dismissal in early December by the Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice.

Rodrigues’ intention was to hire Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti, but after negotiations failed and he opted to extend his contract with Real Madrid, Dorival was the main candidate.

Dorival led Flamengo to the Copa Libertadores title and the Brazilian Cup in 2022 before joining Sao Paulo. He has also coached Atletico Mineiro, Athletico Paranaense, Internacional, Vasco da Gama, Fluminense and Palmeiras.

Brazil are sixth in the South American World Cup qualifying standings after winning only two of their six games and suffering three defeats.

Dorival’s task in qualifying is made harder by the absence of Brazil star Neymar, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee during his country’s World Cup qualifying loss to Uruguay on Oct. 17.

In December, Brazilian team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirmed that Neymar will also be unavailable for this summer’s Copa America in the U.S.

Information from Reuters was used in this story.

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