International Football - Brazil snubbed by Fluminense

Reuters - Fri, 23 Jul 21:13:00 2010

Five-times world champions Brazil were snubbed when they offered Muricy Ramalho the vacant coach's job, only for his club Fluminense to say he would not be released.

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Ramalho, who has considerable domestic success but little international experience, sat down for talks on Friday morning with Brazilian Football Confederation president Ricardo Teixeira, who praised the gruff 54-year-old's track record.

But hours later, Fluminense said that they wanted Ramalho to see out his contract, which runs until 2012.

"Muricy is going to continue at Fluminense, fulfilling his contractual commitments," club president Roberto Horcades said.

Ramalho would have replaced Dunga, who left following the country's quarter-final defeat to the Netherlands in South Africa this month.

Brazil will now have to continue their search for a coach who they hope can lead them to a sixth World Cup title when they host the tournament in 2014.

The favourites are Corinthians coach Mano Menezes and former Brazil, Portugal and Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, currently with Brazilian side Palmeiras.

Fluminense's move is almost unprecedented as Brazilian clubs are usually happy to oblige if their coach is picked for the national team.

Ramalho took over at Fluminense in April and on Thursday night his side beat Cruzeiro 1-0 to go top of the Brazilian championship.

Horcades praised Ramalho for not leaving the club.

"People with Muricy's standards are necessary in football," he said.

The down-to-earth Ramalho won three consecutive Brazilian championship titles with Sao Paulo between 2006 and 2008, although he was never able to win the South American Libertadores Cup, the region's equivalent of the Champions League.

In four attempts under Ramalho, Sao Paulo finished once as runners-up, lost twice in the quarter-finals and once in the round-of-16.

In the year before joining Sao Paulo, Ramalho also led Internacional to second-place in the Brazilian championship.

Dunga was criticised for producing a Brazil team which lacked style but Ramalho might not have been much different. His Sao Paulo teams were renowned for being physically robust, strong in defence but not especially attractive to watch.

Asked about his team's unattractive style, he famously replied: "The supporters pay to see a football match and the team win.

"If you want a show, go to the Municipal Theatre."


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