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Dorival Junior confirmed as Brazilian new coach

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) announced that Dorival Junior, the former Sao Paulo boss, has been appointed as the coach of the Brazilian men’s national team, following a series of disappointing results.

The confederation stated that he will be officially presented at CBF headquarters in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.

Although the length of his contract was not specified by the CBF, reports in the Brazilian media suggest that it will run through the 2026 World Cup.

Dorival replaces Fernando Diniz, who was serving as the interim coach from July 2023 until he was dismissed last Friday.

During Diniz’s tenure, the national team suffered three consecutive losses in World Cup qualifiers, including a significant 1-0 defeat at home to arch-rivals Argentina in November. A considerable expectation from fans is that Dorival will be able to revive the magic of Brazilian football, which has been lacking since their last World Cup victory in 2002.

The 61-year-old veteran coach achieved success with Sao Paulo last year, winning the Copa do Brasil, and previously led Flamengo to victory in the 2022 Copa do Brasil and Copa Libertadores. He is scheduled to make his debut in March, overseeing Brazil’s matches against England and Spain in a pair of friendlies.

Dorival is taking on the role at a challenging time for Brazilian football, as the national team has been grappling with a series of injuries, most notably to star player Neymar, who sustained a torn knee ligament in a 2-0 loss to Uruguay in October and is expected to be sidelined for several months. Currently, Brazil occupies the sixth position in South America’s 2026 World Cup qualifiers, which represents the last automatic qualifying spot from the continent.

The CBF has been entangled in a contentious legal dispute over its leadership, resulting in the ousting of its president, Ednaldo Rodrigues, from his position by a court ruling in December. However, he was reinstated by a Supreme Court judge last week. During this period of uncertainty, Rodrigues’s attempt to appoint Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti as the Brazil coach fell through when the Italian opted to renew his contract with the Spanish club.