With Eyes On The Next Football World Cup, Dorival Junior Takes Charge Of Brazil's National Team

At the press conference, the new coach said he was not immediately looking to make significant changes to the team but instead would strive to find a better equilibrium.


Dorival Júnior will take over at Brazil national men's football team

Dorival Junior said his objectives as coach of Brazil's national team are to reach the final of the next World Cup and restore confidence among players and Brazilians. The 61-year-old Júnior spoke at a press conference Thursday after being hired to lead the men's team. (More Football News)

Brazil won the World Cup title in 1994, was runner-up four years later and won for a fifth time in 2002. It has underperformed ever since, however.

"I will prepare the team to win games, to seek the best possible results and return to a leading position in a World Cup that will be very competitive," Júnior said.  "I prepared a lot for this to happen, for the team to achieve its objectives, and the main one will be three years from now." "It's a difficult time we're going through, yes. But nothing that's impossible to reverse quickly," he said.


Junior had been expected to take up the post after leaving his role as Sao Paulo coach on Sunday.

Junior will replace Fernando Diniz, who was fired last week amid poor results and a political crisis at Brazil's football body. Junior and his former club São Paulo FC announced on Sunday that he was leaving to take over the national team, calling it “a dream come true.”

The hiring of a new Brazil new coach was delayed after the death of World Cup great Mario Zagallo early Saturday.

Brazil football confederation president Ednaldo Rodrigues had hoped to hire Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti to coach the team for the 2026 World Cup, but the Italian extended his contract with the Spanish giants in December.


Junior has been a manager for two decades, but his biggest triumphs have come recently. He won the Copa Libertadores title with Flamengo in 2022 and last year led São Paulo to its first Brazilian Cup trophy. His players say he is calm, adaptable and keen on having well-balanced teams.

At the press conference Thursday, the new coach said he was not immediately looking to make significant changes to the team but instead would strive to find a better equilibrium.

"It's not about a change of names,” Júnior said. “It's a change in emotions, in posture."

He also worked with Brazil forward Neymar at Santos early on in the striker's career, 14 years ago. About Neymar, who underwent ACL and meniscus surgery in November, Júnior conceded that the team will need to learn to play without its star. The recovery is expected to take between six and 12 months.

Junior's first challenges with Brazil will come in March, in friendlies against England and Spain. Brazil is currently in sixth position with seven points in South American World Cup qualifying after six matches. The top six teams will qualify directly for the tournament to be played in the United States, Mexico and Canada.