Luiz Felipe Scolari | “Few could play football better than Deco” | Coach’s XI

Luiz Felipe Scolari | “Few could play football better than Deco” | Coach’s XI

I am Luiz Felipe Scolari and this is my XI. This team would play a 4-2-3-1 formation. We say 4-2-3-1 but it could also be a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1. Because it depends on your routine when you are on the attack or in defence. The system changes all the time. Look, my starting goalkeeper is Marcão (nickname for Marcos, Brazil 2002). We have worked together for a long time here at Palmeiras. He has won every possible trophy at this club. And to round up, he won the World Cup with some fantastic performances. He’s also an incredible human being. So my keeper is Marcão. The right-back is the Paraguayan: (Francisco) ‘Chiqui’ Arce. Very good! An exceptional athlete with great technique. Wherever you wanted him to place the ball, that was an easy task for him. Another nice and elegant guy. Calm. A gentlemen. A spectacular person. My centre-back would be someone with a slightly different behaviour. Perhaps this will surprise a lot of people: Junior Baiano. Because he was fantastic at Palmeiras. Spectacular from top to bottom. He was a technical footballer, he had no problem to prevail in many aspects. Just like a defender must do. He was also a great person in the time we won the Libertadores (in 1999). Tall, strong, skilful. He knew how to be a winner and play like a proper centre-back. Just the way I like a centre-back to be. My other centre-back would be one of the technical players I worked with: Adilson. I had the opportunity to manage him at Gremio and also at Jubilo Iwata in Japan. Impressively technically, a defender with a lot of skills. A leader! He was crucial for that Gremio team that won the Copa Libertadores. On the left I will pick a very talkative player. Some who used to scream a lot. But he also played incredibly well. Roberto Carlos. I had the opportunity to work with him at Seleção (Brazil). And he was spectacular. The way he placed himself on the pitch, how he played, hit the ball, how he explored the left side. Roberto Carlos is my left-back. The holding midfielder, I worked with him here at Palmeiras. A guy that left his mark because of his personality and great quality: Cesar Sampaio. He has also played for Seleção. I also had the chance to work with Cesar Sampaio when he became a director. A serious and honest person. He could easily do a job on the pitch. Well, there are a lot of good options and I’m definitely missing some great players. I’m trying to pick those that really impressed me. One of those was Luis Carlos Goiano. He played for me at Gremio for several years. He was the ‘box-to-box’ as they would say in England. No problem. When he needed to play, he would. Whenever he needed to take a different attitude, he would do it in a gentle way. Fantastic. So he is my other midfielder. My playmaker? He played in Portugal, is Brazilian and played for Portugal. He played for Chelsea and Barcelona. You remember him very well: Deco. I don’t see a better playmaker than Deco. Few had the same quality as Deco to play football. Yes, on the right side I will remember my captain: Luis Figo. Playing beyond top-quality football, he was also a great captain. A captain that every manager dreams of. He represented us on the pitch. That’s what we need on the pitch. He was the one saying to a teammate during a Portugal match: “Look, don’t worry, try to dribble, do this, do that and if you have any problems, give me the ball. I solve the problems. If I can’t, people will understand. I’m Luis Figo.” He would take all responsibility. So let’s put Luis Figo on one side. On the other side, another Portuguese. I believe you might have guessed. Cristiano Ronaldo. Another wonderful player and person. Very dedicated. It’s extraordinary what he does on a daily basis to become the great player he is. My striker was decisive at the World Cup. Ronaldo Nazario. Because of his ability, because of his capacity to choose the best outcome in every play, his decision making. Looking at this line-up, I imagine a good marking side to recover the ball but quality to dominate the game. Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco, Cesar Sampaio, Luis Carlos Goiano… I imagine it would be a top quality team. I would do what I did with the Seleção in 2002 when we lost Emerson a day before the World Cup started. I asked Regina Brandao, the psychologist of the Seleção back then, what I could do. She said, ‘Felipe, at this time you should share the leadership of Seleção among four or five players. Make them understand how it should be and I believe you will be represented well.’ So that’s what I did. I chose Cafu, a wonderful leader, a very honest person who had a natural influence in the squad. I chose Roque Junior, someone I had worked with at Palmeiras, a reference player in our defence. Roberto Carlos, who speaks more than the world. He was talking here, there, everywhere, so when something must be said, we looked at Roberto. I chose Rivaldo, a guy who doesn’t even say good morning when he wakes up. Quiet, calm. And there was a fifth one… Yes, Ronaldo. It was Ronaldo. Another type of leadership. What did I tell them? Rivaldo, look, you’re my technical reference. Roberto Carlos, you’re the spoken leader, you talk, you scream. Cafu is the total lead. Roque Junior, you lead the defence, take care of this part. And Ronaldo, you are my leader because you are my ideal man up front. You have experienced European football. It worked perfectly. We were all in the same boat. Everyone understood their roles. All of them had influence in some important decisions before the final against Germany. We had made a last-minute trip and they helped me explain to everyone that was the best decision for the group. Ah Messi, without a doubt! Oh, God! I never had my contact with Messi. You know, when I was manager of Portugal and Brazil, I had to vote for the World’s Best Player. I voted for Luis Figo. Then I voted for other players. And then I voted for Cristiano Ronaldo because I knew him well. But Messi also deserved my vote. He’s a genius. A total genius. It’s really beautiful watching him play and doing what he does.

25 thoughts on “Luiz Felipe Scolari | “Few could play football better than Deco” | Coach’s XI

  1. Hi all! Subtitles for this video are available in both English and Spanish. Please choose your preferred language in the settings.

  2. Que pessoa é o Felipão. Nada perto do que se tem hoje aqui, no sul — soberba, soberba e soberba.

  3. Adilson didn't won Libertadores 1999 playing by Palmeiras – he even played at the team. Scolari coached him at Grêmio, 1995, when there they won Libertadores.

  4. The brazil team tht won the WC 2002 wasnt really the best squad tht they have ever produced at thr time ronaldihno kaka were young only had maybe rivaldo and ronaldo whom were in their prime a solid defence and a well to do midfield u can also argue less pressure for the young players compared to the brazil team of 2006 whom all were stars expected to win the WC

  5. An underrated manager despite having his own share of imperfections as well (e.g. the 2014 WC semifinal). Sadly his time with Chelsea did not work out as he planned.

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