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Football | Brazil

Cafu © Reuters Images

Cafu blasts Scolari return



Legendary former Brazil skipper Cafu on Saturday slammed the decision to re-appoint Luiz Felipe Scolari, with whom he lifted the 2002 World Cup, as coach in place of the sacked Mano Menezes.

"It's obvious this wasn't the time to get rid of Mano," Cafu told reporters ahead of the Confederations Cup draw in Sao Paulo.

He had been constructing a group for two-and-a-half years, working with the team, (constructing) a base, trying out players.

"I can't agree with a decision to get rid of a coach just as the team was creating an identity," said the 42-year-old former Roma and Milan star, who won a national record 142 caps for the Selecao, also winning the 1994 World Cup, two Copa Americas and a Confederations Cup.

Cafu lifted the 1994 World Cup under Carlos Alberto Parreira, who will now act as Scolari's technical assistant, but said while he respects both men he feels Menezes has been badly treated.

"Felipao and Parreira are great professionals - but I cannot agree with the decision to push Menezes through the exit."

But Cafu and Scolari, who made him his 2002 skipper only after Emerson was injured before the tournament, do agree on one thing.

Scolari said on his appointment that "Brazil have an obligation to win the World Cup" on home soil - they lost the 1950 final when the tournament was previously played here - and Cafu agrees.

"He is obliged to win so the people believe more in the Seleçao'" said Cafu.

Former Brazil stars are divided on Scolari's return with Cafu critical as well as 1970 skipper Carlos Alberto Torres, while 1982 star Zico was pleased with the switch.

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