Real Madrid’s Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti is set to become the first foreigner in almost 60 years to coach Brazil’s national team.
The 64-year-old has a season remaining on his contract with Real, which he has said he would like to honour, and will take over Brazil in time for the Copa America, in the United States from June 2024.
The prize football-mad Brazil will want one of the most successful coaches in European football to deliver is a sixth World Cup trophy in 2026. It would be the first since 2002.
The 2022 edition was especially galling for the Brazilians as they exited in the quarter-finals, beaten by Croatia, and their bitter continental rivals Argentina lifted the trophy.
Tite brought down the curtain on his six years in charge following their elimination.
Ancelotti’s agreement to take over Brazil comes after months of negotiations with Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) boss Ednaldo Rodrigues, who had the Italian at the top of the list.
Ancelotti had said the Real job would be his last after almost 30 years as a coach, but one of the most glamorous and challenging jobs in football brought a change of mind.
Brazilian hierarchy said they were attracted not only by Ancelotti’s record of winning trophies but also by his laid-back character and ability to develop close relations with the players.
“We went after him not only due to his record, but also because he is a decent person,” Rodrigues told beIN Sports recently.
“Those who have worked with him say that he is open, cultured, and he appreciates Brazilian football.”
One moment his love of Brazilian football was put on hold was when he was assistant coach to Arrigo Sacchi as Italy lost to Brazil on penalties in the 1994 World Cup final.
With Brazil, Ancelotti will have some familiar faces from Real Madrid.
Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Eder Militao have been key players in his latest spell with Real which has resulted in six trophies.
“He is the best coach in the world,” said Vinicius, who has developed under Ancelotti and formed a close bond with the coach who supported the 22-year-old Brazilian when he was the target of racist abuse last season.
Ancelotti will be the fourth non-Brazilian to coach Brazil. The last was Argentine Filpo Nunez who was in charge for one game in 1965.
Ancelotti has won the Champions League twice with both AC Milan and Real Madrid.
He has won domestic league titles with Real and Milan, in England with Chelsea, in Germany with Bayern Munich and in France with Paris Saint-Germain.
– ‘It is a dream’ –
Ramon Menezes has been in charge of the Brazil team since Tite stood down on a caretaker basis.
The Brazilian federation had announced earlier on Wednesday that Fluminense’s Fernando Diniz would take charge of the team for the coming year.
“Fernando Diniz will lead the Brazilian team for a year, and I’m sure he will do it with great competence, as always during his professional career,” said Rodrigues in a video statement.
The 49-year-old will be in charge of the first six South American qualifying games for the 2026 World Cup this year, including the clashes with world champions Argentina and Uruguay.
“It is a dream, an honour and a huge pride to serve the national team,” Diniz said.
Brazil will start their qualifying campaign in September at home against Bolivia and then away against Peru.