What are the new Portuguese coaches worth in the country of football? – 05/04/2023 – José Manuel Diogo

Before the day Abel Ferreira landed in São Paulo to become Palmeiras coach, he had never been to Brazil. He was following in the footsteps of another Portuguese coach, Jorge Jesus, who had recently performed miracles in Rio de Janeiro.

Since then, Portuguese coaches have become fashionable in Brazil, and today, at the door of choosing the new coach of the Canarinha national team, the names of Abel and Jesus are among the most popular for the CBF dream chair.

The numbers speak for themselves: currently only the Portuguese league has more Portuguese than Brazilian football. Abel at the head in defense of the Palmeirense Brasileirão title; repeaters, Vítor Pereira (Flamengo), Luís Castro (Botafogo) and António Oliveira (Coritiba), who this year are accompanied by Pedro Caixinha (Red Bull Bragantino) Renato Paiva (Bahia) and Ivo Vieira (Cuiabá).

But it was not always so. By the way, in fact, before things were the other way around. It was the Brazilian technicians who were successful in Portugal and Europe, occupying the seats of dreams in the Old World.

In almost half a century, good performances by the national team in major international tournaments are due to Brazilians: Otto Glória (1966) and Felipão Scolari (2004). Then everything changed.

Today, the place of Brazilian football on the terrain of nations has become impoverished. In the sports field and mainly on an economic level. Brazil hasn’t won the Cup for 21 years, and in that time everything has changed.

Now, the way to monetize football showbizz is totally different. Buying a ticket and shouting “goooool” in the arena with your favorite team is no longer “ó do borogodó”. Today, the business revolves around the consistency of global ecosystems in which “club” and “team” are far from able to survive alone. Brazil was slow to understand this need for organization and missed the boat of history.

Television broadcasts, currently managed in a super-professional manner by supra-club entities —such as the European professional leagues, for example—, give football the characteristics of a planetary industry on a par with Hollywood.

Brazil missed the boat due to internal organizational gaps but also due to lack of perception of the change in its leaders. That historical gap has drained their younger talent, who come to Europe as teenagers; it impoverished its championships and removed the country from the great world victories.

That’s why the arrival of Portuguese coaches is a hope for Brazilian football. Because they have the necessary quality to understand the modern football that Brazil needs and they accept to receive salaries that the country can afford.

With the arrival of the Portuguese, Brazil has the chance to “get out of the chokehold” and “take back possession of the ball” on the world stage. The hope is that, with their support, Brazilian football can once again “shine” and win important titles, proving that there is still “a lot of ball to roll” in the country of football.

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