Brazil’s hot-headed coach is ready to get down and dirty. The World-Cup winning manager and former defender Phil Scolari has had it with playing the good guy, and is ready to aggressively approach Tuesday’s game against Germany. He may have a temper, but he believes he knows what will lead his team to victory.
Here’s what you need to know about him.
1. He’s Done Being Mr. Nice Guy
After Brazil’s shoot-out victory over Chile, Scolari voiced his frustration with the casual demeanor of his time. The Daily Mail reports him saying,
We’re being too nice, too cordial with our opponents. We can’t be laid back every day. It’s time for a change – I can’t hold it in any more. It’s time we defended a little differently, to go back to my style, which is more aggressive.’
Scolari was a combative player in his days, and the chant ‘Here comes the truck’ was screamed whenever he made his way onto the pitch. Fans referred to him as perna-de pau, which in Brazilian means wooden-leg, as he wasn’t the most talented player, but after retiring from playing in 1982, he was immediately appointed manager of CSA.
2. He Attacked Vanderlei Luxemburgo
Scolari has always been known for being a little hot-headed. During his early years as a manager, he once was recorded challenging a Copa Libertadores official to “meet him outside”. In one infamous story, Scolari’s coaching rival Luxembergo came to his dugout with his computer to analyze his players performances, and the temperamental man pushed him to the ground, saying he didn’t want his team to lose their ‘advantage’, reports the Daily Mail.
3. He Made His Team Read Excerpts From Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ For the 2002 World Cup
When the 2002 FIFA world cup rolled around, Scolari thought the best way to prepare his team for the match was to prepare them for battle. For those unfamiliar with The Art of War, it is a Chinese military strategy book from 6th century BC.
In another noteworthy moment, Scolari told his players to commit more fouls. He did, however, add on a slight disclaimer:
Everyone does it. I’m just the only one who admits it.
Scolari went even farther than that and threw balls on the field to “wind down the clock” according to Daily Mail.
4. He’s Famous For His Quick Temper
Up until Scolari won the World Cup, he was an aggressive, somewhat chaotic coach. After the big win, though, he became much more gentle on the sidelines.
In 2008, when Scolari began managing the Chelsea Football Club, The Independent posted an article on him that summarized just how outrageous his attitude can get during a game.
Even by the game’s often eccentric standards, Scolari stands out: forthright, sentimental, hot-tempered and fiercely loyal to his players (unless gay).
5. The Media Often Compares Him To Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Don Vito Corleone
It’s up for debate whether he looks more like The Godfather character or Gene Hackman, but either way, he’s got a face for the TV. Known as Big Phil in the English-speaking world, Scolari is a former defender and worked for the Portuguese national team from 2003-2008.
In a hysterical post from Chat Sports, certain world cup stars pose alongside their dopplegangers, and Scolari unsurprisingly is pictured with Don Corleone. Check it out here.