Friday, July 02, 2004
Scolari is to face Rehhagel at the Euro 2004 finals. Both coaches are foreign to the team they are coaching. Both coaches have changed the fortunes of their teams. Greece was led in several occasions by national coaches but it failed to produce results with them. Otto Rehhagel was brought in from Germany to change the Greek's luck and so far he is a success. Scolari, on the other hand, was brought from his five-time-world-cup winning team Brazil to lead the Portuguese to their first ever European title. Scolari clashed with Luis Figo from the get-go. Figo spoke out against the nationalization of Brazilian midfielder Deco, Scolari defended the decision, and then Deco scored in his national team debut vs. Brazil. When Scolari was conducting business as usual, Portugal lost to Greece in the opening match. Ever sense, he became bolder in his decisions. He benched both midfield star Rui Costa and team captain Fernando Couto. He also replaced Figo with 21-year-old Helder Postiga (No. 23) while Portugal was losing to England in the quarterfinals and was able to draw the game and take it to penalty kicks. Even scolari's choosing of goal keeper Ricardo over Vitor Baia was a success when he not only saved a penalty kick with his bare hands, but also scored the winning goal against England. The winner is yet to be decided and there can only be one success story. Both coaches were both bold and courageous in their decisions and both will have to surprise us once again and who ever produces the bigger surprise, in my opinion, will win it all!