* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of June 3, 2012.
† Appearances (goals)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of December 12, 2008
Émerson Leão (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈɛmeʁsõ leˈɐ̃w]; born July 11, 1949) is a Brazilian head coach and former football player. He is one of the all-time best Brazilian goalkeepers. A documentary video produced by FIFA, FIFA Fever, called him the third-most impressive defense player of all time. He was born in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo.
He was World Cup champion in 1970 as a reserve player, when he was twenty years old. He then played the two following World Cups as first team player. He was the first Brazilian goalkeeper in history to be team captain (during the 1978 World Cup). Dida repeated the feat in 2006 in a group stage match against Japan. In the 1986 World Cup, Leão was a reserve player.
Leão has been a manager since 1987. He was São Paulo manager in 2005, winning the Campeonato Paulista of that year. He then moved to Vissel Kobe of Japan, where he stayed for only four matches. On July 18, 2005 he became Palmeiras' manager, a position he held until March, 2006. His peak as a manager was his second period at Santos, between 2002 and 2004, when he won the Campeonato Brasileiro in 2002, and was runner-up in both Copa Libertadores de América and Campeonato Brasileiro in 2003. Leão is often seen as a hardliner, since he demands perfect physical shape of his players, along with discipline and mutual respect. He is not fond of having well-known players on his teams, since he believes that this might cause relationship problems within the squad.
He was Brazilian national football team manager from November 15, 2000 until June 9, 2001. Of eleven matches, he won four, drew four, and lost three. Like his predecessor Vanderlei Luxemburgo, he struggled having top players available for qualifying matches. He tried to center the team around Romário and younger players with hardly any international experience. He also became the first sitting coach to travel to Europe to assess his players' activities there, where he was asked by the Europeans to not release Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos for matches that were not crucial.
Leão was dismissed by Atlético Mineiro on May 4, 2009, following a defeat to arch-rivals Cruzeiro in the final of a regional championship. This ended his third stint as Atlético head coach. On June 3, 2009 Sport Recife's have signed the coach for the up-coming 2009 Brasileirão championship, Leão was dismissed by Atlético Mineiro in May. On April 26, 2010 Leão was named as the new Goias Esporte Clube manager. On October 24, 2011, São Paulo says it has hired Emerson Leao for a second spell in charge of the club.
Leão is known for his controversial attitudes and declarations.
In 2002, when he coached Santos, and Peixe faced Paysandu, Leão was involved again in a fight. This time, when his players faced policemen, the coach received an aggression in his eyes by a pepper spray.
In 2006, then coaching Palmeiras, Leão had problems with television pundit Milton Neves, that had kicked another television pundit, Sílvio Luiz, according Leão. Leão said to Neves: "When you kicked Silvio Luiz's ass, a 70-year-old man, you boasted. Come to kick mine!"
In 2010, training Goiás, Leão discussed again with two another television pundits, Renata Fan and Neto. According Leão, Neto "would not have psychological conditions to speak in a television channel". But the problems between them would happen since 1989, when Leão coached Neto in Palmeiras.
In 2013, in research made for sportive site UOL Esporte, Leão was elected the worst coach from Brazil. He had 16 votes. Celso Roth was chosen the second one.
Again in 2013, Leão said that Juvenal Juvêncio, president of São Paulo, club that he coached for two times (between 2004 and 2005 and, after, between 2011 and 2012), should abdicate, for his age, of his position, making like pope Benedict XVI. Juvêncio answered to Leão, saying that the coach "needs to find another job soon".