Luiz Felipe Scolari may be old-school with no truck for new coaching fads, but the Brazilian legend has delivered again with another league title for Palmeiras
Palmeiras have just been crowned as Brazil’s Serie A champions following their away victory against Vasco da Gama. The Paulista giants have now won the Brasileirão for the tenth time in their history, making them the first club to ever hit double digits – an accomplishment that would have not been possible, without the return of the legendary figure of Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Palmeiras had only managed to gather five points out of 15 back in July, as Roger Machado was dismissed following a disappointing defeat against Fluminense. It was time for Luiz Felipe Scolari to step up and take command of a sinking ship. The impact was fast, as the Verdão would bounce back and beat Parana by a large margin, before going on to remain undefeated for the rest of the league campaign, with one last home match to come, against the almighty Vitoria, a side that has already officially been relegated.
Scolari is not the most modern of tacticians, as he is admittedly old school and has not followed the latest trends in world football, as he recently celebrated his 70th birthday. But the ability to impose himself and earn the respect of the locker room was fundamental in helping this Palmeiras side bounce back.
Felipão remains one of the best in terms of motivating his squad and getting his players to fight for literally every single challenge. In this aspect, he is most certainly one of the finest in the history of Brazilian football. Who can forget his historic talk in Brazil’s locker room moments before the memorable final against Germany back in 2002? The old man remains the last manager to bring a World Cup title for the Seleção.
Talent and hard-work are both equally important in football. When talented players don’t work hard enough, they can definitely be surpassed by players who may not be as naturally gifted, but have shown full dedication in training and took their manager’s instructions very seriously.
It wasn’t that this Palmeiras side lacked talent, but it was clear that the team was not mentally strong enough, and was composed of individuals who played without an identity. If you go back to the 2014 World Cup, despite the epic failure in the end, Brazil’s players wanted Scolari to stay in charge, and refused to blame him for the defeat against Germany.
That side was often described as a family. The Brazilian media even referred to it as the “familia Scolari”, highlighting how much the players had respect for the figure who they considered to be their second father. When you play under the command of Luiz Felipe, you often play for him and fight for him on the pitch. That’s how influential he can be.
In this regard, Brazil’s national team has been fortunate enough to have had a manager with Tite’s modern ideas and Scolari’s motivational skills. Despite all that has been said following the 2014 blackout, Felipão has gone on to conquer the Chinese Super League, won the Asian Champions League, and returned to Brazil to guide Palmeiras to their iconic 10th title. Scolari will most certainly go down as one of the greatest manager that Brazilian football has ever seen.