The room is silent. For some moments nobody says anything, before the question of team selection is asked by a journalist. Without so much as a smile, Vicente Del Bosque simply says “I don't want to reveal who will be in the team tomorrow.”
In another room, not so far away, the atmosphere is noisy, raucous and filled with laughter. Felipao is holding court and his jokes and boisterous comments satisfy the journalists’ appetite as they scribble and type away furiously.
Such are the two contrasting personalities of the coaches who will come head-to-head in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 Final at the Maracana. We take a look back through their equally contrasting playing and managerial careers and take in some of the statistics behind the men.
Del Bosque: 62 (DOB: 23 December 1950)
Scolari: 64 (DOB: 9 November 1948)
Vicente Del Bosque was handed the full time position as Real Madrid manager at the age of 49, almost three decades after first turning out for the club as a player. In all, he was closely involved with the club for almost 35 years before his dismissal in 2003, managing the reserve sides and acting as caretaker manager before assuming full control of first team affairs. He is over a decade younger than Luis Aragones, the man he replaced in the Spain hotseat in 2008 at the age of 58.
Luiz Felipe Scolari was 33 when he became manager of Centro Sportivo Alagoano (CSA) in Brazil, guiding them to the Alagoano state championship in his first season. He assumed his first international managerial post with Kuwait at the age of 42 in 1990 and took the reins of his home country Brazil in 2001, almost two decades after becoming a coach for the first time.
Domestic titles (as a player):
Del Bosque: Five (La Liga titles between 1974 and 1980)
Del Bosque had a successful playing career with Los Merengues, missing out on La Liga just once between 1974 and 1980 with five league titles in six seasons. He played over 400 games in midfield for the club he would later go on to manage and also won four Copa Del Rey trophies. He appeared in the 1981 European Cup final, which Real lost to Liverpool.
Scolari’s playing career was significantly less decorated. An uncompromising defender who had stints at Juventude, Caxias and CSA, the media in his home country often make light of his playing days as a contrast to his successful managerial career.
Domestic titles (as a coach):
Del Bosque: Two (La Liga titles)
Scolari: Two (One Brazilian Serie A and one Uzbek league)
There was a gap of just over 20 years between Del Bosque’s final La Liga title as a player, and his first as the Real Madrid manager. He guided Los Blancos to their first domestic title for four years in 2001, and repeated the feat in the 2002-03 season.
Scolari’s brief stint with Chelsea is Felipao’s most standout club appointment for most European fans, but he has league titles on two different continents under his belt. He won the Brazilian Serie A with Gremio in 1996 with Mario Jardel in blistering form. He also won the Uzbek league with a Rivaldo-inspired Bunyodkor in 2009.
Continental titles (as a coach):
Del Bosque: Two (UEFA Champions League titles)
Scolari: Two (Copa Libertadores titles)
With the Merengues faithful impatiently waiting decades for continental success to return to the Bernabeu, Del Bosque delivered two UEFA Champions league titles in three years, after Jupp Heynckes had broken the club’s hoodoo in 1998. Both finals were iconic for different reasons. The first, against Valencia, saw two teams from the same country come up against each other in the European Cup final for the first time, with Madrid running out 3-0 victors. The second saw the re-branded Galacticos sweep to victory thanks to a breathtaking Zinedine Zidane volley in Glasgow.
Felipao has a similar track record in continental club competition, taking home the Copa Libertadores with two different clubs in the 1990s. He guided Gremio to their second Libertadores triumph in 1995, with a remarkable quarter-final win against the star-studded Palmeiras the key moment in that campaign. It was to be Alviverde’s time in 1999 though, as Scolari guided Palmeiras to the Libertadores title with a side including Marcos, Zinho, Roque Junior and Cesar Sampaio.
Shirt number as a player
Del Bosque: No6 / No8
Del Bosque was known as a forward-thinking midfielder and often changed shirt number between No6 and No8 at Real Madrid. He would likely be happy with the current Spanish equivalents in the FIFA Confederations Cup: Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
Felipao on the other hand was a traditional Brazilian centre-back, a No3. Thiago Silva certainly makes for a flattering FIFA Confederations Cup squad member equivalent to Scolari.
International titles (as a coach):
Del Bosque: Two (FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship)
Scolari: Two (Gulf Cup of Nations and FIFA World Cup)
Luis Aragones had guided Spain’s golden generation to UEFA EURO 2008 victory when Del Bosque took the reins after the tournament. He was charged with masterminding a maiden FIFA World Cup title for La Roja’s fans, and he delivered in spectacular fashion. Spain qualified for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa by winning all of their matches in their qualification group. Despite a setback against Switzerland, Del Bosque’s side marched on to victory, with Andres Iniesta’s iconic strike in Johannesburg sealing the victory after extra time. Spain’s period of domination continued as they retained the UEFA EURO title won under Aragones by beating Italy 4-0 in last year’s final.
Scolari’s first taste of international management saw him guide Kuwait to the Gulf Cup of Nations in 1990, but it was Brazil’s penta victory in 2002 that will live long in the memory of many football fans. Scolari took charge of A Seleção in 2001, with five games remaining in their FIFA World Cup qualification group. He lost his first game 1-0 to Uruguay, but guided the side to Korea/Japan and did not look back. Ronaldo’s famous brace in the Final in Yokohama saw Brazil return to the top of world football. Fans of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and FIFA World Cup 2014 host nation will be hoping Scolari can return them to that lofty summit next summer, with their first big test in Felipao’s latest reign coming today at the Maracana.