Real Madrid boss Ancelotti will coach Brazil at Copa America next year says confederation chairman
Ancelotti has still not publicly confirmed any deal with the five-time World Cup champions. Brazil has never had a full-time foreign coach in charge of its national team.
RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian soccer confederation chairman Ednaldo Rodrigues said Wednesday that Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will be in charge of the national team at next year's Copa America.
Ancelotti has still not publicly confirmed any deal with the five-time World Cup champions. Brazil has never had a full-time foreign coach in charge of its national team. But the internal pressure to do so increased after Tite, hailed by many as the best Brazilian coach in the last decade, failed to deliver in the last two editions of the World Cup.
Rodrigues spoke to journalists after he introduced Fernando Diniz as the new Brazil coach until July next year in a news conference which featured several questions over the future role of Ancelotti.
“He will be, he will be. You can be sure of that,” Rodrigues said after being asked whether he had an agreement with Ancelotti to be the Brazil coach at the 2024 edition of Copa America. The 64-year-old Italian coach has a contract with Madrid which finishes when Diniz's 12-month contract with Brazil is due to expire.
“He (Ancelotti) has already said when he can be here,” Rodrigues said, adding that he wants Diniz to work with Ancelotti after the Brazilian's contract expires.
“That will be up to Diniz, he takes one step at a time,” Rodrigues said.
Diniz is a favorite among players like Neymar and Thiago Silva, who publicly praised him as a potential national team coach before the conversation about Ancelotti had started at the Brazilian soccer confederation.
Executives at the Brazilian soccer confederation have indicated the intention is to wait a season and then bring in Ancelotti to lead the team at the Copa America, which will be played in the United States from June 20 to July 14, and into the 2026 World Cup.
When asked why Ancelotti has not spoken about any agreement to coach Brazil until the 2026 World Cup, Rodrigues said: “That’s a detail. That’s his right, he’s the only one who can speak about it.”
Ancelotti has won a record four Champions League trophies as a coach — two with AC Milan, two with Real Madrid. He has had a good rapport with Brazilian players at Madrid, including Rodrygo, Eder Militão and Vinicius Jr. The latter has become one of the best players in the game under Ancelotti's guidance.
The 49-year-old Fluminense coach Diniz will keep his job at the Rio de Janeiro club and join Brazil only for South American World Cup qualifiers. He takes over from Brazil U-20 team coach Ramon Menezes, who led the team into this year’s friendlies on an interim basis, losing two out of three matches.
Tite, Brazil's previous long-term coach, left the job after a quarterfinal loss to Croatia in the 2022 World Cup at Qatar.
During the news conference, Diniz said he has never met Ancelotti and swerved questions related to the Italian.
“Ancelotti is a matter for the president, I will speak about my style,” said Diniz, who doesn't have a significant trophy collection, but is praised by both Brazil fans and players for his attacking strategies.
“I will repeat what brought me here," Diniz said in reference to his attacking style, pointing out with pride that he had "the best raw material in the world to execute my ideas.”
Diniz was introduced without any other coaching staffers in another hint he won't stay on the job beyond his contract. But he claimed to have “total liberty” to perform his duties until then in the eight matches — possibly more — that Brazil will play until Copa America begins.
“I talk to a lot of people, I would never be able to do things by myself. We will have CBF staffers, I will bring some people ... we don't do anything in a rush and make mistakes,” Diniz said.
Diniz said he is counting on 31-year-old Neymar to keep playing for Brazil, plus other players, “especially those aged 25, 26, 27 with World Cup experience on their backs.”
Brazil's first match under Diniz will be at home on Sept. 7 against Bolivia in the first round of South American World Cup qualifiers. Until then, Diniz will split his duties as Fluminense coach in the Copa Libertadores and the Brazilian championship.
Rodrigues said that U-20 team coach Menezes is likely to coach Brazil's team at the Paris Olympics next year.