Given the immensely high expectations Brazil has of its national team, especially when they compete on home soil, it is easy to understand why the country has turned to Luiz Felipe Scolari as it gears up to host the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, two tournaments A Seleção will be under great pressure to win.
The main reason for the nation’s faith in Scolari is that he is the last coach to guide Brazil to the world title. Taking charge of a side that was struggling in the qualifiers, he built an effective unit around the stellar talents of Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Rivaldo and led them to glory at Korea/Japan 2002.
As well as that achievement and the succession of titles he has won at club level, Felipão is also familiar with the pressure teams face when hosting a major international tournament.
During his successful spell in charge of Portugal he masterminded their run to the final of UEFA EURO 2004, staged on home soil, and proved that was no fluke by steering the Portuguese to the semi-finals at Germany 2006, their first appearance in the last four of the FIFA World Cup for 40 years. With credentials like that, Scolari seems more than well equipped to cope with the pressure he is sure to face in the coming months.
“The difference is that the host nation at a major tournament always has a little more pressure on it, as if being the hosts automatically makes them the best team with the best players,” he told FIFA.com shortly after taking up the post at the end of 2012. “Obviously it’s our duty to win, but it’s a duty I’ve become used to.”