Brazil legend Mario Zagallo says the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) were wrong to sack coach Mano Menezes.
The 50-year-old was dismissed last month and replaced by former Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Andres Sanchez then stepped down as a CBF director in protest at Menezes’ departure with Carlos Alberto Perreira taking over, and Zagallo said that while he feels the new recruits will do well in their respective roles, the sacking of Menezes was premature.
“I like Scolari as a friend and he will be working with Carlos Alberto Perreira and I have faith in them to do well,” Zagallo told reporters.
“But it was not the right time for the CBF to sack Mano Menezes. Things were getting better, all the Brazilians felt the same way. But it is the CBF’s responsibility and they took that decision but for me it was not the right time.”
Zagallo, who won the World Cup with Brazil as a coach in 1970 and as an assistant in 1994, added that while Santos striker Neymar is a talented footballer, he needs experienced players around him if Brazil are to prosper at World Cup 2014.
“Neymar is a great player, but he is a boy, he is 19 years old, and he lacks people he can look up to. He needs someone beside him, he still needs to learn. Another boy, Pele, had players to inspire him such as Garrincha, Vava, Nilson Santos,” he said.