Turning down England job still hurts, admits Scolari

BRAZIL coach Luiz Felipe Scolari admits to still being tormented by his decision to turn down the England job, and hinted he would be open to taking charge of the Three Lions in future.

Scolari, whose Portugal team knocked England out of successive major tournaments, held talks with the Football Association about succeeding Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2006 before rejecting the post.

The 64-year-old, who begins his second spell in charge of his native Brazil tonight at Wembley, said yesterday he felt compelled to turn down the job, albeit reluctantly.

“Of course it hurts. It hurts a lot because I would have loved to have been the manager of the England team. Who wouldn’t? It’s a wonderful national team,” said Scolari, whose Portugal later ended England’s 2006 World Cup.

“When I was invited to be national coach of England I still had a contract with Portugal and I was not willing to break it. It was my duty to fulfil it. Imagine what it would have been like when we played each other in 2006 and I had signed that contract with England.”

Scolari said his ill-fated seven-month spell in charge of Chelsea, which ended with his sacking in February 2009, was “marvellous” and left the door open for the FA to make another approach.

“Who knows what will happen? One day, maybe,” he added. “I wish all the best for the English players and their manager.”