Alves: Pep wanted Brazil job

Daniel Alves (File)
Daniel Alves (File)

Sao Paulo - Pep Guardiola wanted to coach Brazil at last year's World Cup but local football officials were afraid that fans wouldn't like having a foreign coach in charge of the national team, Barcelona defender Daniel Alves said Tuesday.

"Pep said he wanted to make Brazil a World Cup champion and had an entire strategy to make us a world champion," Alves said in an interview with ESPN Brasil.

"But they didn't want it, because they said that they didn't know if Brazil would accept a foreign coach."

Alves did not specifically say who refused to hire Guardiola, but criticized the decision.

"Pep is the best coach in the world, the greatest sports manager I've ever seen. He revolutionized football, revolutionized a team, and we had the chance to have him with us," Alves said.

"If you let an opportunity like this go by, then you are not really thinking about the national team."

He said Guardiola was even willing to get paid only if he achieved the results expected by the Brazilian people.

Wednesday will mark the anniversary of Brazil's humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semifinals, when Brazil was managed by Luiz Felipe Scolari. The World Cup-winning coach in 2002 was replaced by Dunga, who had already led Brazil at the 2010 World Cup.

Dunga's team was eliminated by Paraguay in the Copa America last month in yet another disappointment for the five-time world champions.

Alves, who played several years for Guardiola at Barcelona, said the coach had already put a lot of thought into the possibility of coaching Brazil.

"Ever since I've been working with Pep, he has on his mind the Brazilian team that he would like to be coaching," the 32-year-old right back said.

The Brazilian confederation last week formed a counsel of past champions, coaches and even the media to discuss ways of improving local football and the national team.

Brazil begins 2018 World Cup qualifying in October.

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