Sao Paulo FC coach Dorival Junior will be the new coach of the Brazilian national team, the club said on Sunday, after Fernando Diniz was fired from the five-time world champions following a string of losses.
“It’s a personal dream come true,” the 2023 Copa do Brasil-winning coach said in a statement posted by Sao Paulo on X, formerly Twitter, after days of speculation he would be named to take over struggling Brazil.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) did not immediately confirm the announcement.
Dorival, 61, coached Flamengo to two major titles in 2022 – the Copa do Brasil and Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent of Europe’s Champions League – before joining Sao Paulo, where he continued to rack up trophies.
He takes over football powerhouse Brazil at a difficult moment.
The “Selecao” have struggled with a series of injuries, including to star Neymar, who went off with a torn knee ligament in a 2-0 loss to Uruguay in October and is expected to be sidelined for months.
Under Diniz, Brazil racked up three straight losses in World Cup qualifiers, including the Uruguay match and a humiliating 1-0 loss at home to arch-rivals Argentina in November.
Brazil are currently sixth in South America’s 2026 World Cup qualifiers, the last automatic qualifying spot from the continent.