Luiz Felipe Scolari has admitted he regrets not taking the chance to manage England when it arose in 2006 as the World Cup winner prepares Brazil to play at Wembley on Wednesday evening, ESPN
Scolari was approached to replace Sven-Goran Eriksson after the 2006 World Cup but pulled out of the running for the position, claiming concerns over the level of intrusion from the media into the life of the holder of the job.
Steve McClaren was appointed instead while Scolari remained with the Portugal national team, eventually being appointed as Chelsea manager, lasting less than a season at Stamford Bridge.
Scolari won the 2002 World Cup as Brazil coach and is back for a second spell with the Selacao – the friendly against England is his first match in charge of the 2014 World Cup hosts.
Claiming to be hurt by the decision to turn down England, Scolari also revealed that part of the reason he did not take up the England job was his contract with Portugal. He said: “Of course it hurts. It hurts a lot because I would have loved to have been the manager of the England team. Who wouldn’t? It’s a wonderful national team.
“When I was invited to be national coach of England, when we sat down I still had a contract with the Portuguese national team and I was not willing to break that contract. It was my duty to fulfil it. Imagine what it would have been like when we played each other in 2006 and I had signed that contract with England.”
Scolari did not rule out taking charge of England in the future, either. He added: “Who knows what will happen. One day, maybe. I wish all the best for the English players and their manager on their path to innovation.”
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