Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has revealed his regret at not taking the England manager’s job in 2006.
The 64-year-old is in his second spell in charge of the Selecao, the Three Lions’ Wembley opponents in an international friendly on Wednesday, and was approached by the Football Association six-and-a-half years ago to replace Sven-Goran Eriksson.
After the FA offered a long-term deal to the Brazilian prior to World Cup 2006, Scolari did a u-turn, citing the intrusive nature of the British press as his reason for pulling out of the running.
Yet he spoke in a Tuesday press conference of the ‘hurt’ he suffered, despite admitting that he did not want to break his contract with Portugal – England’s eventual conquerors at the tournament in Germany.
“Of course it hurts,” he said. “It hurts a lot, because I would have loved to have been manager of the England national team. Who wouldn’t?”
“When I was invited to be national coach of England, when we sat together at that time, I still had a contract with Portugal.
“I wasn’t willing to break that ¬contract – it was my duty to fulfil it. Imagine in 2006 if we had played together and I already had a contract with England.
“But England are a wonderful team and I hope I will have the opportunity to talk to Lampard and Ashley Cole at the game, to wish them the best. You never know what might happen one day.”