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‘Big Phil’ back at Brazil helm

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SAO PAULO, Brazil, November 29 – Brazil on Thursday officially announced Luiz Felipe Scolari as their coach to lead them through to the 2014 World Cup finals on home soil, replacing Mano Menezes, sacked last week.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) named 2002 World Cup winner Scolari for a second spell at the helm as he targets a sixth world title with the auriverde in 18 months time, using next summer’s Confederations Cup, also in Brazil, as a springboard event.

Carlos Alberto Parreira, who managed Brazil’s successful 1994 World Cup campaign in the United States, will serve as Scolari’s technical assistant.

“Our sole commitment is to seek out and offer the best for our football and it is in this vein that we have chosen these two great champions, respected not just in our country but worldwide – Felipe Scolari and Carlos Alberto Parreira,” CBF president Jose Maria Marin told a news conference.

Meanwhile, former Brazil star Ronaldinho has extended his contract with modest top flight side Atletico Mineiro for one year, the president of the Belo Horizonte club announced on Thursday.

“You wanted him. He is staying,” Alexandre Kalil tweeted late Wednesday.

Ronaldinho, a World Cup winner in 2002 who joined Atletico in June after quitting Flamengo over a salary dispute, will earn a higher salary of $450,000 plus a share of revenues from club jersey sales and bonuses should Atletico shine in major competitions next year, acording to the sports daily Lance.

The 32-year-old former Barcelona and Milan star and ex-world player of the year played 31 matchs with Atletico, scoring nine goals and winning the support of fans.

“Ronaldinho’s objective is to rejoin the Sele├žao (national squad) and compete in the 2013 Confederations Cup, a key step to win a slot on the 2014 World Cup squad,” Lance said.

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