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Scolari says signing for England before World Cup would have betrayed Portugal

Scolari says signing for England before World Cup would have betrayed Portugal

Signing for England before the World Cup would have amounted to betrayal, Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari told sports daily Record.
"If I was telling my players we had to die on the field to win, I had to set an example," Scolari was quoted as saying in an interview with Record published Tuesday. "Signing a contract with England as it was proposed to me would have been betrayal for Portugal."
Scolari turned down the post last April, three months ahead of the World Cup.
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson had announced in January he would be leaving his job after the tournament.
"They (England's Football Association) wanted me to sign with England and for that to be all over the news but to only take over the team after the World Cup. That (option) doesn't exist. You can't sign for a team, lead another during the World Cup and eventually, as it happened, face your future team," Scolari told Record.
Portugal beat England in the World Cup quarterfinals on penalty kicks after a bad-tempered match in which England striker Wayne Rooney got a red card.
Scolari, 57, led his native Brazil to victory at the World Cup in 2002 and also took Portugal to the final of the 2004 European Championship _ losing to Greece _ and to fourth place in this year's World Cup.
In July this year Scolari extended his contract with Portugal through the 2008 European Championship. Scolari said Tuesday that he would likely leave at the end of this tournament.
"It will be logical and natural that by the end of Euro 2008 my link to the Portugal team will end," Scolari said, adding he would be interested in coaching FC Porto after Portugal.
Scolari said it was proving difficult to replace key players like Luis Figo and Pedro Pauleta.
"This will be my toughest year as Portugal manager," Scolari said. "We don't have that many great players so we need to keep composing the team all the time."


Updated : 2021-05-09 14:11 GMT+08:00