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Dunga replacement?

Leonardo stakes claim for Brazil job

July 6, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Former AC Milan coach Leonardo has thrown his hat in the ring to replace Dunga as Brazil's new boss.

GettyImagesLeonardo: Thumbs up for Inter job?

Dunga was sacked after Brazil's shock 2-1 reverse at the hands of the Netherlands iin the World Cup quarter-final.

Speculation in Brazil suggested Leonardo was the front runner to get the job but he insists talks have yet to take place.

Leonardo's first and only managerial position was with Milan, and he led them to a third-place finish in Serie A last season. They were knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester United.

He admits the timing may not be ideal but says it would be hard to turn down the job. "Honestly I don't know anything,'' he told Sky Italia.

"I have never spoken with the Federation, the only thing I know is that which comes out in the press. I don't know if you can say no or yes. I'm not looking for a job, I'm looking for a dream. I have decided to make myself available to everyone.

"If I had to choose my path, maybe this would not be the right time. It's been 20 years that I've been outside Brazil. I have decided to make myself available. If nothing happens, I will decide after that what I will do.

"I'm giving my availability because it is the first time I have spoken. I haven't spoken in Brazil because it didn't seem to me to be the right moment.''

Leonardo feels the whole system of management of the national team needs overhauling before the country host the World Cup in 2014.

The Brazilian spent many years as a club executive and scout at Milan before taking charge at the San Siro and would prefer a role more similar to that rather than a coaching position.

He added: "I think it is a particular moment for Brazil, it was a premature elimination that was not expected by anybody. There are very important years ahead because Brazil will host the World Cup finals after 64 years.

"There are so many things to build, maybe certain concepts and certain values also have to be mended, to organise an event which everyone is looking forward to with great joy.

"I don't know what will happen. I think my story has confused Brazil a bit. My story was very much linked to directorship and the management aspect, which is what I like and I've always done. Then last year I was on the bench and this confused me a bit too.

"The bench is a very dangerous virus. Milan gave me the unique opportunity to do both things. There are many good coaches who could coach Brazil."