Luiz Felipe Scolari: Picking Big Phil’s All-Time Best XI

Luiz Felipe Scolari is number 33 in 90min’s Top 50 Great Managers of All Time series. Follow the rest of the series over the course of the next seven weeks. You can find Jamie Clarke’s ‘Big Phil’ career overview ​here. In a managerial career spanning 37 years (and counting) Luiz Felipe Scolari has taken charge of some of the greatest talents to ever grace the game.  Despite stints at Chelsea and even Guangzhou Evergrande, the pick of these players come from his World Cup winning Brazil squad in 2002 and his oh-so-nearly-men of Portugal from 2003-2008. Big Phil managed five players who had won, or would go on to win, the Ballon d’Or during his career, but only four of these make it to his all-time best XI. Let’s take a look to see who made the cut. ​​Ricardo (GK): The Portuguese keeper hit his peak for club and country during Scolari’s reign as Portugal manager. He kept goal in two penalty shootouts for Portugal in major tournament knockout games. Both came against in England – the first in Euro 2004, where Ricardo also scored the winning penalty. The second coming in the 2006 World Cup, where Owen Hargreaves was the only Englishman who managed to beat him. Cafu (RB): Renowned as one of the greatest full-backs of all time, Scolari had the pleasure of managing the Brazilian at the peak of his career and winning the World Cup with him in 2002. After losing the captaincy under the previous coach, Cafu regained the armband under Big Phil and duly repaid him with triumph in Japan and South Korea. Lucio (CB): Along with Cafu, Gilberto Silva and Marcos, Lucio was one of only four players to play every minute of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup triumph. He made a horrible error against England in the quarter-final, but Scolari stuck by his centre-back insisting he made no other mistakes. The defender went onto have an illustrious career, winning countless trophies at club level. Ricardo Carvalho (CB): Carvalho’s performances under Scolari in Euro 2004 were enough to earn him a place in the team of the tournament and convince Chelsea to sign him shortly after. They would later reconvene at Stamford Bridge, but only for a short period, as Scolari only lasted until February. Roberto Carlos (LB): Such was Roberto Carlos’ dominance under Big Phil in the 2002 World Cup, the little left-back finished second place in that year’s Ballon d’Or. No full-back has finished in the top two of the award since. After the triumph in Yokohama, Carlos was named in the team of the tournament. Ronaldinho (RM): Scolari was manager at Gremio when Ronaldinho was advancing through their youth system. He didn’t break into the team until after Big Phil had left the club, but they would soon meet at international level. He had a fantastic campaign in the 2002 World Cup, where he scored an unfathomable free-kick against England in the quarter-final and earned a spot in the all-star team. Gilberto Silva (CM): The defensive midfielder was taken to the 2002 World Cup as backup for Emerson, but when his team mate was injured shortly before their first game, Gilberto had to step up. With little time to prepare, he became a key figure for Scolari and played every minute of the tournament. His performances in Japan and Korea caught the eye of Arsene Wenger, who he joined at Arsenal later that summer. ​Deco (CM): An incredibly gifted player, Deco played some of his best stuff under Scolari. His performances in Euro 2004 landed him second place in that year’s Ballon d’Or. Such was the bond between Deco and his manager, they would later rejoin at Chelsea in 2008, albeit only for a short spell. Luis Figo (LM): One of the classiest players to ever grace a football pitch, Scolari was able to get the best out of his midfielder as he approached the latter years of his career. Figo was pivotal in both the 2004 and 2006 international tournaments and was unlucky not to get his hands on either trophy. Rivaldo (ST): Another older player who Big Phil worked his magic with. Aged 30 at the 2002 World Cup, Rivaldo put in some memorable performances that would eventually earn him a place in the tournament’s all-star team. A great of the game, who deservedly got his hands on football’s biggest prize. Ronaldo (ST): Scolari’s career could have been so different without this man. At times, he singlehandedly dragged Brazil through games – the World Cup final in 2002 being the perfect example. Untouchable at his best, Ronaldo is an all-time great of any team, not just Big Phil’s. Having been at the centre of the drama in the 1998 World Cup final, Ronaldo was the coolest man at the 2002 tournament as he slotted home eight goals to win himself the golden boot. Number 50: Marcelo Bielsa: The Argentina Manager’s All Time Best XI Number 49: Vic Buckingham: The English Manager’s All Time Best XI Number 48: Claudio Ranieri: The Tinkerman’s All Time Best XI Number 47: Bill Nicholson: The Tottenham Legend’s All Time Best XI Number 46: Sven-Goran Eriksson: The Former Lazio Manager’s All Time Best XI Number 45: Sir Alf Ramsey: The World Cup Winer’s All Time Best XI Number 44: Antonio Conte: The Fiery Italian’s All-Time Best XI Number 43: Kenny Dalglish: The King of Anfield’s All-Time Best XI Number 42: Massimiliano Allegri: The Six-Time Serie A Winner’s All-Time Best XI Number 41: Sir Bobby Robson: The Legendary Fighter’s All-Time Best XI Number 40: Luis Aragones: Spain’s Most Important Manager’s All-Time Best XI Number 39: Herbert Chapman: The Yorkshire Tactician’s All-Time Best XI Number 38: Carlos Alberto Parreira: The World Cup Hero’s All-Time Best XI Number 37: Franz Beckenbauer: Der Kaiser’s All-Time Best XI Number 36: Viktor Maslov: Dedushka’s All-Time Best XI Number 35: Rafa Benitez: The Likeable Spaniard’s All-Time Best XI Number 34: ​Zinedine Zidane: The French Magician’s All-Time Best XI

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