BARCELONA: Representatives of Pep Guardiola have denied categorically reports that he has been in talks with the Brazilian football confederation over the role of national coach for the lead up to the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup which the country will host writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Brazil have never employed a foreigner as national coach and the reports have prompted lively debate in Brazil where fans were furious to see the under-23 side – the foundation for the 2014 World Cup team – beaten by Mexico in the Olympic Games football final in London.
Despite their record five World Cup triumphs, Brazil have never won Olympic gold unlike both southern neighbours Argentina and Uruguay.
Spanish agent Josep Maria Orobitgrechazó said that he was in regular touch with Guardiola, who left Barcelona last June after guiding them to 14 titles in four years in what was his first top-line coaching job.
Orobitgrechazó insisted that Guardiola – currently living in New York with his wife and children – had given him specific orders “not to negotiate anything with anyone.” Guardiola has reportedly turned down inquiries from the Russian Football Union and Chelsea. They then turned, respectively, to Fabio Capello and already-interim Roberto Di Matteo.
Guardiola was among the notable absentees from Barcelona’s traditional season-opening Gamper trophy match on Monday when the club reassembled most of the members of the so-called ‘Dream Team’ who won the club’s first European Champions Cup in 1992. Barcelona, with Guardiola in midfield, won 1-0 at Wembley against Sampdoria of Italy while a team of reserves lost on Monday to the same opponents by the same score.
CBF president Jose Maria Marín has denied that Brazil have any intention of replacing current national coach Mano Menezes despite the Olympic upset. This could change after friendlies against China and South Africa next month and then Argentina in October.
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