After 100 games as Brazil's coach, Parreira is still working on the mix
When Carlos Alberto Parreira
reached the milestone of 100 games as coach of Brazil, there wasn't much
Brazil produced a frustrating performance when it lost 1-0 Sunday
against Mexico in a Confederations Cup group game, casting unexpected
doubt on whether it will qualify for the eight-nation tournament's
The Mexicans have become Brazil's bogey team, winning four of the last
Parreira, pragmatic as ever, said he would keep experimenting with the
blend of established and emerging stars he has brought to the two-week
The tournament is part of Brazil's preparations for next year's World
To avoid a repeat of Brazil's humbling first-round Confederations Cup
exit in 2003, Parreira's men have to at least draw their final group
game on Wednesday against Japan.
"Nothing has changed," the 62-year-old said Monday. "We're going to play
the Brazilian way. We're used to handling pressure."
Parreira says he plans to change three or four players in his starting
lineup because some of the regular team are exhausted.
After starting his coaching career three decades ago - and capturing
some two dozen titles - Parreira knows that building a title-winning
soccer team is a work in progress, with both disappointments, such as
the Mexico result, and triumphs, such as his side's classy opening 3-0
win over Greece last week.
Parreira appeared to play down the 100 matches he has logged during
three separate stints as Brazil coach.
"I don't keep records. I didn't know it was the 100th, but I'm very
proud of it. Coaching the best side in world is a great honor," Parreira
The journeyman hasn't always been in charge of such superstars as
three-time world player of the year Ronaldo and the current holder of
that accolade, Ronaldinho.
Parreira's first head coaching job was with Brazilian club Fluminense.
In 1976, he took over the Kuwait national team and led it to the 1980
Moscow Olympics and the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
Later, he returned to the Middle East, where he coached Saudi Arabia and
then managed the United Arab Emirates at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
He has also spent time at Spain's Valencia, Turkey's Fenerbahce, and
U.S. club Metro Stars.
But the glamor of the Brazilian job has brought him his greatest - and
lowest - moments.
After qualifying as a physical training instructor in his native Rio de
Janeiro in 1966, he became a fitness trainer with Brazil at the 1970 and
'74 World Cups alongside coach Mario Zagallo, his mentor, and soccer
Though he never played soccer professionally, his tactical astuteness
brought an invitation from the Brazilian soccer authorities to take over
the national side in 1983, his first stint as national coach.
But his detractors attacked what they perceived as his team's dull play.
Parreira left at the end of 1983 after Brazil's aggregate defeat in the
Copa America final against Uruguay.
When he returned for a second spell with Brazil from 1991-94, he had the
track record to survive calls for his dismissal after a rocky World Cup
He went on to steer Brazil to its fourth World Cup trophy, but once
again had to endure widespread criticism of his team's muted attacking
play. Brazilians like to say their country has 156 million soccer
Parreira was unrepentant about his down-to-earth style of soccer.
"All this talk about offense and defense doesn't apply. There's a group
of 11 players who have to attack and defend," said Parreira, who sees
his task as welding individual talents into an efficient and disciplined
Back at Brazil's helm since 2003, he now shoulders the responsibility of
capturing Brazil's sixth World Cup crown in Germany next year.