Ranking the 5 greatest managers from Brazil

Brazil v Colombia: Quarter Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Brazil v Colombia: Quarter Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Many great Brazilian managers have graced football. Although football might seem too straightforward, the real charm of this game lies in its complex tactics.

Football management can be said to be more prominent and decisive than any other sport. Managers control almost everything in the team and face the high risk of being fired if the results don't follow.

The world has witnessed famous coaches such as Johan Cruyff, Sir Alex Ferguson and Bill Shankly, some of whom have completely changed the game as we know it today.

Many famous Brazilian managers have graced the game

Brazil is a country that has seen many football triumphs over the years. There have been dozens of managers who have managed national teams and various other clubs across the globe.

On their way to five World Cup titles, there have been several managers whose tenure for the national team as well as elsewhere has impressed everyone. So here we take a look at the five greatest managers who hailed from Brazil:

#5 Vicente Feola

Feola was the first manager to win the World Cup for Brazil
Feola was the first manager to win the World Cup for Brazil

Arguably one of the most famous managers from Brazil, Vicente Feola was in charge of the Brazil national team when the Selecao won their first ever World Cup in 1958.

Feola started his managerial career with Sao Paulo FC where he won two league titles in 1948 and 1949. But it was his time with the Brazilian national team that attracted him to the limelight.

Feola became the manager of Brazil during the 1958 World Cup. He immediately decided to shun the old-fashioned 3-2-3-2 formation and unleashed the 4-2-4 formation. It was an innovative move which redefined Brazilian football.

He was the first to put faith in the 17-year-old Pele and introduce him to the footballing world. His faith was repaid in spades. Pele scored against Wales in the quarter-finals and followed that up with a hat-trick against France in the semi-finals.

He then went on to brag about a brace against host nation Sweden as Brazil won its first World Cup.


Although Feola had a disastrous campaign with Brazil during the 1966 World Cup, getting knocked out in the group stage, he is still fondly admired by many people in Brazil. He died in 1975 at the age of 65 years.

#4 Dunga

Brazil v Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Centenario
Brazil v Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Centenario

Along with being one of the most decorated players in Brazil, Dunga is also one of the best managers to come out of Brazil.

Dunga had a brilliant career with the Brazil national team. He played for almost 11 years for the Selecao and won 4 major trophies including a FIFA World Cup and a Confederations Cup.

Dunga's managerial career started in 2006 as he took in charge of the Brazilian national team. He managed to win the Copa America and Confederations Cup as a manager during his first stint with the team.

He was reappointed as manager of the first team after Brazil's humiliating defeat in the 2014 World Cup against Germany. He managed the team for 2 years with the objective of sustaining the ship and bringing back the morale of the team. He was relieved of his duties in 2016 after a group stage exit from Copa America

Nevertheless, his contribution to Brazil both as a player and manager will never be forgotten by the Selecao fans around the world.

#3 Luiz Felipe Scolari

2014 FIFA World Cup Final Draw
2014 FIFA World Cup Final Draw

Luiz Felipe Scolari is a Brazilian manager who has delivered both great success and stupendous failure during his 37-year coaching career.

Scolari started his managerial career in 1982 and spent several years managing clubs in Brazil and Kuwait. He implemented an attacking style of football and his teams garnered a spirit matched by no other.

Scolari won several trophies during this time, most notably the Copa Libertadores with both Gremio and Palmeiras in 1995 and 1999 respectively.

But he rose to the limelight in Europe when he saw over the Brazil side that won the 2002 World Cup. He stepped down as the national team coach after the World Cup and became the Portugal national team manager. He led them to the final and semi-final of Euro 2004 and World Cup 2006 respectively. But a quarter-final loss at Euro 2008 saw him get sacked as Portugal manager.

Following that, Big Phil moved to English football where he took in charge of Chelsea. But he had a torrid time in West London and was sacked after just six months.

Scolari had another spell with the Brazilian national team between 2012 and 2014. But that also ended on a disastrous note as Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi-final on home soil.

Currently Scolari is the manager of Gremio in Brazilian Serie A. Despite his torrid time at Chelsea, he remains one of the greatest Brazilian managers of all time.

#2 Carlos Alberto Parreira

South Africa v Mexico: Group A - 2010 FIFA World Cup
South Africa v Mexico: Group A - 2010 FIFA World Cup

Another Brazilian manager to make his name at the World Cup, Carlos Alberto Parreira holds the record for the most appearances at World Cup tournaments. He has led various sides into six different competitions since 1982.

He started his managerial career with Ghana before taking up the job as Kuwait's manager, a footballing nation in utter turmoil. However, he changed the fortunes of the gulf nation and helped Kuwait qualify for the 1982 World Cup, which remains their only involvement in the competition to this day.

He then went on to manage the UAE in the 1990 World Cup but his first real spell came with Brazil, helping them win the 1994 World Cup. He won the World Soccer Magazine World Manager of the Year award that year. However, he decided to walk away from his post due to criticism from fans for his defensive style of play.

He went on to manage Saudi Arabia for the 1998 World Cup before returning to Brazilian club football. He was reappointed as the manager of Brazil's national team in 2003 guiding them to the 2004 Copa America title and 2005 Confederations Cup. He also led Brazil in the 2006 World Cup but eventually lost to France in the quarter-finals.

His last hurrah came with South Africa when he led the poverty stricken country in the 2010 World Cup.

If Parreira had spent his career with larger nations, he definitely would have won more silverware. However, he spent more of his time looking to transform the fortunes of nations into turmoil, using football as a means to bring society together.

#1 Mario Zagallo

Zagallo has featured in 4 World Cups for Brazil
Zagallo has featured in 4 World Cups for Brazil

Mario Zagallo is arguably one of the greatest legends in the history of Brazil. He has won four World Cups - two as a player, one as manager and one as assistant manager respectively.

Zagallo won the World Cup in 1958 and 1962 as he featured alongside Pele in both of those tournaments. He also scored in the 1958 final alongside the legendary striker.

He was later appointed as the manager of a Brazil team which is rightly heralded as the greatest football team to grace the game. They managed to win the 1970 World Cup where the world stopped in awe to witness their brilliance.

Three wins from three during the group stage took Zagallo's Brazil into the quarter-finals in Mexico, where they overcame Peru. They saw off Uruguay in the semi-finals before triumphing 4-1 over Italy in one of the most memorable finals of all time.

Zagallo also won several trophies with various clubs in Brazil. But it was his World Cup team in 1970 through which he is mostly remembered by.

He created a fast, imaginative and talented football. Powerful, smooth and ruthless, but tactically unparelled. It was true 'Joga Bonito'.

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Edited by Nived Zenith
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