Luiz Felipe Scolari: how The Enigmatic ‘Big Phil’ Succeeded As Much As He Failed at The Big Stage90min.Com #World_CupJuly 3, 2019
Luiz Felipe Scolari is number 33 in 90min’s Top 50 Great Managers of All Time series.
As a head coach, Scolari began his imposing the same no-nonsense style of football, for which he had become renowned for, as a defender in his playing days.
“I, Big Phil, will go down in history as the Brazil coach who lost to Honduras.”
He came under intense scrutiny from the Brazilian press once again in 2002 after his shock omission of the popular Romario from his World Cup squad.
Despite this defeat, Scolari’s achievements with Brazil and Portugal had made him one of the hottest managerial properties in world football, and ahead of the 2006 World Cup, with Sven Goran-Eriksson’s reign as Three Lions boss coming to an end, the English FA did what every major footballing nation desperate for success in the early 2000s did: they went after Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Following the tournament, Big Phil finally made the move to English football, but rather than the national team, he took over at Premier League side Chelsea.
And who else could that have been than with Brazil?
Hired in 2012, the 64 year-old was tasked with ending an agonising 12-year wait for a sixth World Cup and to do so in his home country.
Brazil would be hosting the tournament for only the second time.
For he, Big Phil, will go down in history as the Brazil coach who lost 7-1 to Germany in the semi-final of a home World Cup; a defeat so catastrophic, that it may eternally shroud all of his incredible achievements in the game.