After leading the Brazilian side to a 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 the 2004 Euro, which they lost 0-1 to Greece, and to a fourth-place finish in the 2006 World Cup. Scolari also managed Portugal through the 2008 Euro, 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.
Scolari was born in Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul. A defender regarded as more uncompromising than skillful, he was known among his contemporaries as “Perna-de-Pau” (literally translated as “wooden leg”, a Brazilian Portuguese slang for a bad player), Scolari followed in the footsteps of his father, Benjamin Scolari, who was also a professional footballer. 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.
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 Saudi Arabian side Al-Shabab, he moved to Grmio, where he won the 1987 Gacho state championship.
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 from the club by boarding the winning team’s bus back to his hometown; and did not return even to collect his wages.
Cricima and return to Kuwait
In 1993, Scolari returned to Grmio, 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 Grmio for the Intercontinental Cup, which they lost to Dutch side Ajax on penalties. The following year, they won the Brazilian Championship.
His team featured no real superstar and depended on workman-like players such as Paraguayan right back Francisco Arce, tough-tackling midfielder Dinho, Paulo Nunes, and centre forward Mrio Jardel.
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 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 Romrio in his squad, despite public pressure and a tearful appeal from the player himself. 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.
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.
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 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. 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.”
Scolari’s first match in charge of Chelsea was a friendly match against Chinese side Guangzhou Pharmaceutical, a 4-0 victory. 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, but was subsequently frustrated in his attempts to sign Brazilian international Robinho from Real Madrid.
Scolari was sacked as Chelsea manager on 9 February 2009 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”. 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.
Luiz Felipe Scolari overseeing a training session at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Luiz Felipe Scolari with Brazilian forward Neymar at a press conference at the 2014 FIFA World Cup
On 6 June 2009, he 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. The contract made Scolari the highest paid football manager in the world, earning 13 million a year.
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
On 13 June 2010, Scolari was announced as Palmeiras’ new manager. He signed a 2 1⁄2-year contract. Palmeiras were 2012 Copa do Brasil champions under his management. On September 2012, Scolari left by mutual consent after an unsatisfying result in the Campeonato Brasileiro.
Return to Brazil national team
On November 2012, after two months without a club, Scolari returned to managing the Brazil national team, replacing the outgoing Mano Menezes. 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.
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 J 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.
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. Scolari described the match as “the worst day of life”, and took responsibility for the loss.
Return to Grmio
On 29 July 2014, Scolari signed with Grmio. He was officially unveiled by the club the following day at the Arena do Grmio. On 19 May 2015, Scolari resigned from his position after a poor start to the season.
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. After four months in charge, Scolari led the club to victory in the 2015 Chinese Super League and AFC Champions League, defeating Cosmin Olroiu‘s Al-Ahli side with a 1-0 aggregate win in the final. 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. 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.
Return to Palmeiras
On 27 July 2018, Scolari returned to Brazilian side Palmeiras for a third time. On September 2nd, 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 Verdo.
Scolari also holds Italian citizenship, since his family emigrated from Veneto. He is a fan of Grmio, and was reported to be a fan of Nottingham Forest, having watched their successes under Brian Clough in the 1970s.
Scolari is also known as “Felipo” 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.
- As of From game played April 28, 2019
Managerial record by team and tenureTeamNatFromToRecordGWDLWin %Brazil11 June 200122 August 2002261916073.08Portugal20031 July 200874421814056.76Chelsea1 July 20089 February 20093620115055.56Bunyodkor8 June 200928 May 2010443356075.00Brazil28 November 201214 July 2014291964065.52Guangzhou Evergrande4 June 20159 November 2017118712819060.17
Honours as manager
- Al Qadisiya
- Kuwait Emir Cup: 1989
- Campeonato Brasileiro Srie A: 1996
- Copa do Brasil: 1994
- Copa Libertadores: 1995
- Recopa Sudamericana: 1996
- Campeonato Brasileiro Srie A: 2018
- Copa do Brasil: 1998, 2012
- Copa Mercosur: 1998
- Copa Libertadores: 1999
- Torneio Rio-So Paulo: 2000
- Copa Sul-Minas: 2001
- Guangzhou Evergrande
- Chinese Super League: 2015, 2016, 2017
- AFC Champions League: 2015
- Chinese FA Cup: 2016
- Chinese FA Super Cup: 2016, 2017
- Brasileiro Coach of the Year: 2018
- South American Coach of the Year: 1999, 2002
- IFFHS World’s Best National Coach: 2002
- Chinese Football Association Coach of the Year: 2015, 2016