Parreira supports Fluminense, and he has won two league titles for the club: The First Division Brazilian Championship in 1984 and the Third Division in 1999. About the latter title, Parreira has said that this was personally the most important trophy of his career, even more so than Brazil's World Cup triumph, as the club he loved was facing near-bankruptcy and became very close to extinction at the time.
When coaching Saudi Arabia at the 1998 World Cup in France, he was fired after two matches, one of two managers to be sacked during the tournament.
Parreira repeatedly turned down offers to coach Brazil again between 1998 and 2002 World Cups. In end of 2000, when the team was in turmoil after firing Vanderlei Luxemburgo, he refused the post, stating that he did not want to relive the stress and pressure of winning the World Cup again. There were public cries again to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari for Parreira in July 2001 when Brazil lost two matches to Mexico and Honduras in its title defense at the 2001 Copa America in Colombia, especially after last minute invitee (replacing Argentina who dropped out one day before the kickoff) Honduras defeated 2–0 and eliminated the favorite Brazil in quarter finals round on July 23, 2001. Parreira only stated that he would indirectly assist Scolari in the 2002 campaign. After the 2002 World Cup, Parreira took part in drafting a technical report of the tournament. He was named coach along with Mario Zagallo as assistant director in January 2003, with the goal of defending their World Cup title in Germany 2006, but on July 1, 2006 Brazil was defeated and eliminated 0–1 by France in the quarterfinals.
After Brazil's exit from the World Cup, Parreira was heavily criticized by the Brazilian public and media for playing an outdated brand of football and not using the players available to him properly. Parreira subsequently resigned on July 19, 2006. He coached Brazil to victory in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and was the coach of the South Africa national football team until resigning in April 2008. On October 22, 2009 it was announced he would return as head coach of South Africa. He announced a verbal agreement with the South African Football Association on October 23, 2009.
He resumed coaching South Africa in 2009 in time for the 2010 World Cup. In South Africa, his team drew with Mexico, 1–1, in the tournament opener, lost to Uruguay, 3–0, and beat France, 2–1, to finish third in Group A. After the France game, he tried to shake hands with French coach Raymond Domenech but the latter refused to.
On 25 June 2010 he announced his retirement as football coach.
Parreira has coached national squads in 23 games in FIFA World Cup finals. Parreira's coaching record is 10–4–9 (Wins-Draws-Losses). His teams have scored 28 goals and conceded 32. Below is a list of all matches, along with their outcomes: