João Saldanha

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João Saldanha
Personal information
Full name João Alves Jobin Saldanha
Date of birth (1917-07-03)3 July 1917
Place of birth Alegrete, Brazil
Date of death 12 July 1990(1990-07-12)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
? Botafogo ?
Teams managed
1957–1959 Botafogo
1969–1970? Brazil
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

João Alves Jobin Saldanha (3 July 1917 in Alegrete, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil - 12 July 1990 in Rome, Italy[1]) was a journalist and football manager. He coached the Brazil national football team during the South American Qualifying to the 1970 FIFA World Cup.

Saldanha was nicknamed João Sem Medo and played football for Botafogo. He then entered journalism and became one of Brazil's most prolific sport writers. He often criticised players, managers and teams, and was a member of the Brazilian Communist Party.[2]

In 1957, Botafogo appointed him as their coach, despite his lack of managerial experience. The club won the Rio state championship that season,[2] but Saldanha resigned from the club in 1959.[3] In 1969, he was invited to take charge of the national team, and led them to a perfect 6-0 record. It is alleged that soccer federation president João Havelange appointed him in the hope that journalists would be less critical of the national team if one of their own was in charge.[2]

Saldanha was publicly criticised by Dorival Yustrich, coach of Flamengo. Saldanha responded by confronting him while brandishing a revolver. Saldanha was said to have fallen out of favour because of his unwillingness to select players who were personal favourites of President Emilio Garrastazu Médici, in particular striker Dario (Brazil was a military dictatorship back then).[2] It's reported that Saldanha, after being told that President Médici would be pleased to see Dario in the team, answered that "well, I also have some suggestions to give in the President´s ministry choices". The last straw came when the assistant manager resigned, saying that Saldanha was impossible to work with.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Birth/death info at sambafoot.com[dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e Alex Bellos (June 2003). "Ask Alex anything about Brazilian football...". Futebol: The Brazilian way of life. ofutebol.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Alex Bellos (July 2003). "Ask Alex anything about Brazilian football...". Futebol: The Brazilian way of life. ofutebol.com. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2010.