'Big Phil' Scolari not enamoured of 'false nine'

Updated: 01 December 2012 19:54 IST

Luiz Felipe Scolari was at pains to say he wanted to field a side which would remain "true to Brazilian characteristics" - that is, trying to win with flair, though he is regarded as only slightly less stylistically pragmatic than Menezes - albeit clearly more expansive than previous incumbent Dunga.

'Big Phil' Scolari not enamoured of 'false nine'

Sau Paulo, Brazil:

Brazil have gone back to the future in re-appointing 2002 World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari for the 2014 World Cup on home soil - but 'Big Phil' isn't keen on at least one modern tactical tweak.

That is, using a 'false' number nine as tried notably at Euro 2012 by Spain.

The false nine debate has raged for months as clubs and countries experiment by dispensing with the more traditional target man as they attempt to develop their own answer to Spain's and Barcelona's tiki-taka pass and move.

Scolari, presented to the Brazilian media on Friday after his appointment, had his own extra-special number nine in Ronaldo in 2002, with the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan star scoring twice to see off Germany in the final.

The veteran handler - who at this stage is a long way from defining his team, though once he has a Confederations Cup squad he will keep faith with those players for 2014 - likes the idea of retaining a 'real' centre forward.

"I like to play with a player who is a point of reference between our midfield and the opponent's penalty area," said Scolari.

"Brazil have this kind of player," said 'Felipao', brought in after Mano Menezes was sacked despite recent high-scoring friendly wins over Iraq and Japan.

He was at pains to say he wanted to field a side which would remain "true to Brazilian characteristics" - that is, trying to win with flair, though he is regarded as only slightly less stylistically pragmatic than Menezes - albeit clearly more expansive than previous incumbent Dunga.

Menezes did cast the net far and wide in using more than 100 players during little more than two years at the helm. But Scolari now has to find the right recipe under the pressure of playing two major tournaments in front of home fans.

On Friday, he said that "if we import (Barcelona stars Andres) Iniesta and (Leo) Messi and the players who play in Barcelona then we would play like Barcelona - but these are not our characteristics. We need a team to play good football - but according to the characteristics of our players."

A Folha de Sao Paulo daily quoted Scolari Saturday as saying that "nothing is ruled out" and "nothing is guaranteed" as he and technical assistant Carlos Alberto Parreira sit down next week to thrash out strategy with an eye on his first match in charge - a February 6 friendly at Wembley against England.

There will follow further friendlies against England and France.

A Folha meanwhile reported Saturday that as yet the financial details of Scolari's contract have not yet been agreed.

The paper said the rush to get Scolari at the helm ahead of the Confederations Cup draw was the reason.

Scolari was reported to be in line to earn some 700,000 reales (350,000 dollars) a month - compared with 500,000 for Menezes.

Topics : Football Neymar Da Silva Santos Junior Chelsea Luiz Felipe Scolari Brazil
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