Following a succession of poor performances following a quarterfinal elimination from the 2022 World Cup, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) announced the hiring of Dorival Junior as the new head coach on Wednesday.
Though the news of Dorival’s hiring was formally verified on Wednesday, it had been circulating for three days, with his old club, Sao Paulo, making the announcement earlier in the week.
Dorival, 61, assumes the leadership of the five-time world champions with the enormous task of restoring Brazil’s supremacy. Now the issue is whether his 22 years of domestic experience, gained at teams like as Santos, Atletico Mineiro, Fluminense, Palmeiras, and Flamengo, can give a ray of optimism to a country yearning for its first global title since 2002.
Dorival Junior vows to improve Brazil’s situation.
Brazil’s first priority was not Dorival. The CBF’s president, Ednaldo Rodrigues, wanted Carlo Ancelotti for the job at first, but his dreams were shattered when the Italian manager extended his contract with Real Madrid.
As a result, Dorival took over for Fernando Diniz, who had been acting as Brazil’s caretaker manager since July of last year. However, Diniz was ousted after suffering three consecutive losses in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers for the first time.
Prior to Diniz, Ramon Menezes similarly failed during his brief stint as Brazil’s coach. In reality, since Tite’s departure in December 2022, the five-time world champions have battled mightily, winning just three of nine matches.
Dorival’s stay with the Selecao promises to usher in the long-awaited revolution in Brazil.
“I think the CBF got it right,” stated Luis Anapio Gomes, former Internacional vice-president. “He (Dorival) has no marketing and doesn’t even insist on having a risky playing style for the sake of personal vanity, like his predecessor (Diniz), but he harmonises the team on the field according to the players’ potential.”
Dorival has grown to become one of Brazil’s most recognized managers in recent years after demonstrating his mettle with faltering clubs. He finished his stellar career with Flamengo by winning the Copa Libertadores and the Brazilian Cup in 2022.
Dorival’s strength is not in strict methods, but in his ability to adjust flexibly. He carefully evaluates his players’ potential and develops the squad around their distinct talents.
Dorival has largely favored two formations throughout his vast management career: the 4-3-1-2 and the 4-2-3-1. His tactical versatility bodes well for Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Bruno Guimaraes, Lucas Paqueta, and Casemiro, among other talented Brazilians in his arsenal.
Brazil’s favored managers, Ancelotti and Dorival, both of whom have over 20 years of coaching experience, obviously reflect a need for stability. And it’s only natural, considering that Brazil will be playing at least 12 games in 2024. This includes friendly matches against prominent European teams, World Cup qualifiers, and the famous Copa America, which will be contested in the United States.
Brazil has been inconsistent throughout their World Cup qualifying campaign, adding to the difficulty. Dorival inherits a squad in desperate need of improvement, sitting sixth in the rankings with just two victories in six games. His expertise, leadership, and playing style might be the deciding factors in turning things around.
The CBF’s track record indicates that it will not tolerate poor performance. Previous judgments reflect a haste to dismiss underperforming coaches. As a consequence, although Dorival’s hiring marks the beginning of a new era in Brazilian football, it also brings with it expectations and pressure for fast success.