Luiz Felipe Scolari

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Luiz Felipe Scolari
Training Brazilian national team before the match against Croatia at the FIFA World Cup 2014-06-11 (2).jpg
Scolari at a press conference at the 2014 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Luiz Felipe Scolari[1]
Date of birth (1948-11-09) 9 November 1948 (age 73)[1]
Place of birth Passo Fundo, Brazil
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Position(s) Defender
Club information
Current team
Athletico Paranaense (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1973 Aimoré
1973–1979 Caxias 67 (0)
1980 Juventude
1980–1981 Novo Hamburgo
1981 CSA
Teams managed
1982 CSA
1982–1983 Juventude
1983 Brasil de Pelotas
1984–1985 Al-Shabab
1986 Pelotas
1986–1987 Juventude
1987 Grêmio
1988 Goiás
1988–1990 Al Qadisiya
1990 Kuwait
1990 Coritiba
1991 Criciúma
1991 Al-Ahli
1992 Al Qadisiya
1993–1996 Grêmio
1997 Júbilo Iwata
1998–2000 Palmeiras
2000–2001 Cruzeiro
2001–2002 Brazil
2003–2008 Portugal
2008–2009 Chelsea
2009–2010 Bunyodkor
2010–2012 Palmeiras
2012–2014 Brazil
2014–2015 Grêmio
2015–2017 Guangzhou Evergrande
2018–2019 Palmeiras
2020–2021 Cruzeiro
2021 Grêmio
2022– Athletico Paranaense
Men's football
Representing  Brazil (as manager)
FIFA World Cup
Winner 2002
FIFA Confederations Cup
Winner 2013
Representing  Portugal (as manager)
UEFA European Championship
Runner-up 2004
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Luiz Felipe Scolari, ComIH (Brazilian Portuguese: [luˈis fɪˈɫipɪ sko̞ˈlaɾi]; born 9 November 1948), usually called Scolari or by his nickname Felipão ("Big Phil"), is a Brazilian football manager and former player. He is the current manager of Athletico Paranaense.

Scolari was a defender during his playing days, and notably represented Caxias before moving to a managerial role in 1982. After leading the Brazil national team to a FIFA World Cup win in 2002, he was manager of the Portugal national team from July 2003 to June 2008. He led Portugal to the final of UEFA Euro 2004, which they lost 0–1 to Greece, and to a fourth-place finish in the 2006 World Cup. Scolari also managed Portugal through UEFA Euro 2008, but resigned after a 2–3 loss to Germany in the second round.

After a return to club management at Chelsea in the Premier League, Scolari was hired again as manager of the Brazil national team in 2012. He led them to victory at the 2013 Confederations Cup, and to the semi-final in the 2014 World Cup. After the Brazil national team finished fourth overall in an upset 1–7 loss to Germany in the semi-finals, and a 0–3 loss to the Netherlands in the third-place playoff, the Brazilian Football Confederation decided not to renew his contract. In 2015, he started work at Guangzhou Evergrande and went on to claim both the 2015 Chinese Super League and 2015 AFC Champions League in his first season with the club.[2]

Scolari is a dual citizen of Brazil and Italy, as he is descended from Italian immigrants.[3]

Playing career[edit]

Scolari was born in Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul.[1] A defender regarded as more uncompromising than skillful, he was known among his contemporaries as "Perna-de-Pau" (literally translated as "wooden leg" in Portuguese, a Brazilian Portuguese slang for a bad player), Scolari followed in the footsteps of his father, Benjamin Scolari, who was also a professional footballer.[4] His playing career encompassed spells with Caxias, Juventude, Novo Hamburgo, and CSA; he often captained his sides. It was with CSA that he won his only major title as a player – the 1981 Campeonato Alagoano.

Managerial career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Upon retiring as a player in 1982, he was appointed manager of CSA, his former club, and would go on to win the Alagoas state championship in his first season. After spells with Juventude (twice), Brasil de Pelotas and Pelotas and Saudi Arabian side Al-Shabab, he moved to Grêmio, where he won the 1987 Gaúcho state championship.


After managing Goiás, Scolari had a two-year stint in charge of Kuwaiti side Al Qadisiya Kuwait, with whom he won the prestigious Kuwait Emir Cup in 1989. This was followed by a brief period as manager of the Kuwait national team, winning the 10th Gulf Cup in Kuwait.


Scolari returned to Brazil to coach Coritiba. He stayed for just three matches, losing all of them. After the last loss, he abandoned the club by boarding the winning team's bus back to his hometown; and did not return even to collect his wages.[5]

Criciúma and return to Kuwait[edit]

Scolari coached Criciúma to their first major national title, in the 1991 Copa do Brasil. He returned to club management in the Middle East, managing Al-Ahli and a second spell at Al Qadisiya.


In 1993, Scolari returned to Grêmio, where, albeit leading the team to historic victories, he was criticized by the Brazilian media for playing a pragmatic style of football regarded as "un-Brazilian". He claimed six titles in only three years, including the 1995 Copa Libertadores, which qualified Grêmio for the Intercontinental Cup, which they lost to Dutch side Ajax on penalties.[6][7] The following year, they won the Brazilian Championship.[8]

His team featured no real superstar[citation needed] and depended on workman-like players such as Paraguayan right back Francisco Arce, tough-tackling midfielder Dinho, Paulo Nunes, and centre forward Mário Jardel.[8]

Júbilo Iwata[edit]

In 1997, Scolari became manager of J. League side Júbilo Iwata, but left after eleven games and shortly afterwards took charge of Palmeiras back in Brazil.


In three years as manager, Scolari led Palmeiras to the Copa do Brasil, the Mercosur Cup, and their first Copa Libertadores title with a win on penalties over Deportivo Cali of Colombia. They were also runners-up to Manchester United in the 1999 Intercontinental Cup. He was named South American Coach of the Year for 1999.


In 2000, Scolari was appointed to manage Minas Gerais club Cruzeiro, coaching them for a year.


In June 2001, Scolari was appointed manager of his native Brazil, who, with five qualifying matches ahead, were in jeopardy of not qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which would be a first in the Brazilian competitive record. Despite losing his first match 1–0 to Uruguay, Scolari eventually guided the team to qualification.

In the build-up to the finals, Scolari refused to include veteran striker Romário in his squad, despite public pressure and a tearful appeal from the player himself.[9] Brazil entered the tournament unfancied, but wins over Turkey, China, Costa Rica, Belgium, England and Turkey again took them to the final, where they beat Germany 2–0 with two goals from Ronaldo to win their fifth FIFA World Cup title.[10]


Scolari in 2003

After his World Cup victory, Scolari took over as manager of Portugal in 2003 and oversaw their preparations as host nation for UEFA Euro 2004. In the finals, Portugal got through the group stages and saw off England in the quarter-finals on penalties before beating the Netherlands in the semi-finals. In the final, however, they were beaten in a 1–0 upset by tournament underdogs Greece.[11]

Scolari managed Portugal through the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where they reached the semi-finals, again coming out victorious in the quarterfinals against England. But they did not reach the final due to a semifinal defeat against eventual runners-up France. Following the tournament, Scolari was very heavily slated for the job of England manager, but ultimately opted to continue coaching Portugal.

Scolari took Portugal to Euro 2008, where they reached the knock-out stages by placing first in Group A before being eliminated by Germany in the quarter-finals. During the tournament, he announced that he would be joining English Premier League side Chelsea for the 2008–09 season.


Scolari with Chelsea in 2008

Scolari took over as manager of Chelsea on 1 July 2008. This was announced shortly after Portugal's Euro 2008 match against the Czech Republic on 11 June. With this appointment, Scolari became the first World Cup-winning manager to manage in the Premier League. In previous press conferences, Scolari had talked about "tantrums" and "triumphs" and had a reputation as a tough and unpredictable person.[12] When asked whether his decision to join Chelsea was financial, he responded, "Yes, that is one of the reasons," but also added, "I'm 59 and I don't want to work as a coach until I'm 70. I want to retire in four or five years, so it was a financial matter but there are other things." He also said, "I could offer my son the opportunity to study elsewhere. You only get this kind of opportunity once so you take it or leave it, but it was not only financial."[13]

Scolari later said that he had turned down an offer to manage Manchester City.[14]

Scolari's first match in charge of Chelsea was a friendly match against Chinese side Guangzhou Pharmaceutical, a 4–0 victory.[15] He made Barcelona midfielder Deco, a player he was familiar with on the Portuguese national team, his first signing for a fee of around £8 million,[16] but was subsequently frustrated in his attempts to sign Brazilian international Robinho from Real Madrid.[17]

Under Scolari, Chelsea had the biggest away win of the club in five years in which Chelsea won 5–0 at the Riverside Stadium in October 2008. It was also the club's biggest win ever at Middlesbrough.

Scolari was sacked as Chelsea manager on 9 February 2009[18] after a run of poor form culminating in a 2–0 defeat at Liverpool followed by frustrating 0–0 home draw with Hull City. The club's stated reason for his removal was that "the results and performances of the team appeared to be deteriorating at a key time in the season".[19] Scolari's replacement at Chelsea for the remainder of the 2008–09 season was Dutch manager Guus Hiddink, who simultaneously managed the Russian national team.

During his stint at Chelsea, Scolari was sometimes referred to as "Phil" or "Big Phil" in the English media.


On 6 June 2009, Scolari was spotted in attendance at Uzbekistan's World Cup qualifier against Japan; on 8 June 2009, Scolari revealed that he had signed an 18-month contract with the Uzbekistani champions FC Bunyodkor.[20] The contract made Scolari the highest paid football manager in the world, earning €13 million a year.[21]

He left by mutual consent on 29 May 2010 after failing to guide Bunyodkor past the last 16 in the AFC Champions League, although he cited concern regarding his son's education as the key reason.

Return to Palmeiras[edit]

On 13 June 2010, Scolari was announced as Palmeiras' new manager. He signed a 2+12-year contract.[22] Palmeiras were 2012 Copa do Brasil champions under his management. In September 2012, Scolari left by mutual consent after an unsatisfying result in the Campeonato Brasileiro.[23]

Return to Brazil national team[edit]

Scolari overseeing a training session at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

In November 2012, after two months without a club, Scolari returned to managing the Brazil national team, replacing the outgoing Mano Menezes.[24][25] He was tasked with securing a win in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, in which Brazil would be hosts. Scolari had previously won the 2002 FIFA World Cup as manager of Brazil.[26][27]

Under Scolari, Brazil beat Japan 3–0 in the opening game of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, with goals from Neymar in the third minute, Paulinho in the 48th minute and on the 90th minute. Three days later, his team won 2–0 over Mexico, with Neymar scoring again in the ninth minute.

Brazil defeated Uruguay 2–1 in the semi-final match of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in a tough draw, with goals from Fred in the 41st minute paired with a late goal from Paulinho in the 86th minute. In the final, Brazil defeated Spain 3–0 with two goals from Fred and one from Neymar.

Scolari with Brazilian forward Neymar at a press conference at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

After a successful campaign which earned them a semi-final spot in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil were defeated 7–1 in an upset loss against Germany at the semi-final stage, equaling their biggest-ever defeat at the World Cup, the record for most goals conceded in their World Cup track record and its first home loss in a competitive match since 1975.[28] Scolari described the match as "the worst day of [his] life", and took responsibility for the loss.[29]

On 14 July 2014, following a further 3–0 defeat in the third place playoff match against the Netherlands, Scolari resigned from his position as Brazilian manager.[30][31][32]

Return to Grêmio[edit]

On 29 July 2014, Scolari signed with Grêmio. He was officially unveiled by the club the following day at the Arena do Grêmio. On 19 May 2015, Scolari resigned from his position after a poor start to the season.[33]

Guangzhou Evergrande[edit]

On 4 June 2015, Scolari was appointed head coach of Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande, signing a one-and-a-half plus one-year contract.[34] After four months in charge, Scolari led the club to victory in the 2015 Chinese Super League and AFC Champions League, defeating Cosmin Olăroiu's Al-Ahli side with a 1–0 aggregate win in the final.[35] He extended his contract for one year on 24 October 2016 after his potential successor Marcello Lippi was appointed as the manager of China national team.[36] Scolari led Guangzhou win three consecutive league titles from 2015 to 2017. He refused to extend his contract again by the end of 2017 season.[37]

Return to Palmeiras[edit]

Scolari with Palmeiras in 2019

On 27 July 2018, Scolari returned to Brazilian side Palmeiras for a third time.[38] On 2 September 2019, Scolari would be fired by club, that is under a poor performance after 2019 Copa America; in this period, Scolari gained only 23.8% of points played by Verdão.[39]

Return to Cruzeiro[edit]

On 15 October 2020, Scolari returned to the soccer team of Cruzeiro for the second time.[40] On 25 January 2021, Scolari and Cruzeiro parted ways by mutual agreement.[41]

Return to Grêmio[edit]

On 7 July 2021, Scolari returned to Grêmio for the fourth time, with the goal of moving the team out of the last place in the Brasileiro Série A and fighting for the Copa Sudamericana.[42] He left on a mutual agreement on 11 October, with the club second bottom of the league.[43]

Athletico Paranaense[edit]

On 4 May 2022, Scolari was hired by Athletico Paranaense as a technical director, being also a manager of the first team "until new definitions".[44]

Personal life[edit]

Scolari also holds Italian citizenship, since his family emigrated from Veneto. He is a fan of Grêmio,[45] and was reported to be a fan of Nottingham Forest, having watched their successes under Brian Clough in the 1970s.[46]

Scolari is also known as "Felipão" in Brazil.

During his career, the media has been fond of pointing out Scolari's facial resemblance to actor Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando's portrayal of Don Vito Corleone in the film The Godfather.[47][48]


Scolari is a Roman Catholic.[49]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 25 June 2022
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
CSA Brazil 1 January 1982 30 April 1982 8 1 4 3 012.50
Juventude Brazil 1 May 1982 31 May 1983 22 6 9 7 027.27
Brasil de Pelotas Brazil 1 June 1983 31 December 1983 38 13 16 9 034.21
Pelotas Brazil 1 January 1986 31 August 1986 26 5 12 9 019.23
Juventude Brazil 1 September 1986 31 May 1987 34 10 19 5 029.41
Grêmio Brazil 1 June 1987 29 February 1988 30 16 10 4 053.33
Goiás Brazil 1 March 1988 30 June 1988 34 24 8 2 070.59
Kuwait Kuwait 16 July 1990 10 December 1990 8 4 2 2 050.00
Coritiba Brazil 11 December 1990 31 December 1990 3 0 0 3 000.00
Criciúma Brazil 1 January 1991 31 July 1991 24 11 7 6 045.83
Grêmio Brazil 1 January 1993 31 December 1996 222 99 56 67 044.59
Júbilo Iwata Japan 1 February 1997 29 May 1997 30 20 0 10 066.67
Palmeiras Brazil 1 January 1998 30 June 2000 254 127 64 63 050.00
Cruzeiro Brazil 1 July 2000 10 June 2001 75 40 23 12 053.33
Brazil Brazil 11 June 2001 9 August 2002 26 19 1 6 073.08
Portugal Portugal 28 November 2003 30 June 2008 74 42 18 14 056.76
Chelsea[50] England 1 July 2008 9 February 2009 36 20 11 5 055.56
Bunyodkor Uzbekistan 8 June 2009 28 May 2010 44 33 5 6 075.00
Palmeiras Brazil 13 June 2010 13 September 2012 154 65 47 42 042.21
Brazil Brazil 28 November 2012 14 July 2014 29 19 6 4 065.52
Grêmio Brazil 29 July 2014 19 May 2015 51 26 12 13 050.98
Guangzhou Evergrande China 4 June 2015 9 November 2017 123 74 30 19 060.16
Palmeiras Brazil 26 July 2018 3 September 2019 77 46 21 10 059.74
Cruzeiro Brazil 19 October 2020 25 January 2021 21 9 8 4 042.86
Grêmio Brazil 7 July 2021 10 October 2021 21 9 3 9 042.86
Athletico Paranaense Brazil 4 May 2022 present 13 9 3 1 069.23
Total 1,477 747 395 335 050.58

Honours as manager[edit]

Scolari managing Brazil at 2014 FIFA World Cup


Al Qadisiya
Guangzhou Evergrande





See also[edit]

List of Brazil national football team managers


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External links[edit]