Dorival Junior has quit as coach of Brazilian side Sao Paulo to take charge of Brazil’s National team, the club said in a statement on Sunday.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) announced on Friday that Fernando Diniz, appointed last year on an interim basis, had been sacked in order to hire a permanent coach to prepare the team for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Dorival was Brazil’s preferred choice for the job, sources told Reuters, after the CBF failed to recruit Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti, who chose to extend his contract with Real Madrid.
“Sao Paulo Football Club announces the departure of coach Dorival Junior, who has asked to leave to take charge of the Brazilian national team,” the team said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.
Reuters has contacted the CBF for comment after the federation did not immediately confirm the appointment.
Dorival led Flamengo to the Copa Libertadores title and the Brazilian Cup in 2022 before joining Sao Paulo. He has also coached Atletico Mineiro, Athletico Paranaense, Internacional, Vasco da Gama, Fluminense and Palmeiras.
He said in the statement that it was “the realization of a personal dream, which was only possible because I received recognition for the work carried out in Sao Paulo.”
Sao Paulo President Julio Casares said it showed the club were in good shape.
“The invitation to Dorival is further proof that we are on the right track,” he said. “All that remains is to wish him good luck in his new challenge.”
Brazil are sixth in the South American World Cup qualifying standings after winning only two of their six games and suffering three defeats.
The decision to sack Diniz came after Ednaldo Rodrigues was reinstated as head of the CBF, after a decision by minister Gilmar Mendes of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), following his dismissal in early December by the Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice.