SAO PAULO (AFP) – Mano Menezes was sensationally sacked as Brazil coach on Friday, dealing a hammer blow to the hosts of the 2014 World Cup, local media reported.
Menezes, 50, took over from Dunga following the team’s elimination in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup finals.
But he had come under intense pressure after the five-time world champions’ failure at the 2011 Copa America, where they lost in the last-eight to Paraguay, and at the Olympic Games in London this summer.
Menezes, who was axed after a meeting with the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Jose Maria Marin, oversaw 20 wins in his time at the helm, six draws and five defeats.
His job had been on the line since Brazil’s latest attempt to win Olympic gold ended in humiliation after a lacklustre 2-1 loss to underdogs Mexico at Wembley in August.
“Menezes is no longer in charge of the Brazilian team,” reported the Lance sports daily.
The CBF was due to hold a news conference at 1900GMT in Sao Paulo to confirm the decision.
Media speculation has already linked former Selecao boss Luis Felipe Scolari with a return to the hot-seat after he guided Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002.
After the setback at the Olympics, Menezes appealed to Brazil’s football federation chiefs not to be panicked into sacking him.
“Any coach must be ready to suffer the consequences of their results,” Menezes said.
“Even when teams win tournaments people (in Brazil) don’t always praise the coach so imagine what it is like when you lose.
“But defeat in one match should not have a decisive influence. Had we won that would not have solved all of our problems either. Lessons must be learned from every match.”
Menezes said he believed that the Olympic loss could have been used to inspire Brazil to a sixth World Cup on home soil in 2014.
“The important thing is the right corrections are made so the next time we can win,” he said in London.
“You learn from defeats as well as victories.”