RIO DE JANEIRO - Luiz Felipe Scolari, the
last coach to steer Brazil to World Cup victory, has made a
triumphant return with Palmeiras in his home country after an
eight-year absence in Europe and Asia.
Scolari, until last week a favourite to reclaim the Brazil
job after their quarter-final defeat under Dunga in South
Africa, saw his Palmeiras team beat Santos 2-1 in the resumption
of the Brazilian championship after the World Cup recess.
Meanwhile, title holders Flamengo beat Botafogo 1-0 in a Rio
de Janeiro derby at the Maracana as they sought to put behind
them an unhappy break that included the arrest of captain Bruno
in connection with a murder case.
After completion of the eighth round of the championship on
Thursday, Corinthians are joint top with Ceara on 18 points.
Fluminense are third with 16 points while Santos, Flamengo and
Palmeiras have 12 points apiece.
Santos were without Brazilian World Cup forward Robinho,
whose loan period from Manchester City has ended.
Scolari, who steered Palmeiras to victory in the South
American Libertadores Cup in 1999, left for Europe after
Brazil's record fifth world title in Asia in 2002.
He spent six
years as Portugal's coach, reaching the Euro 2004 final and the
2006 World Cup semi-finals.
The 61-year-old "Felipao" (Big Phil) met with less success
at club level in Europe, lasting a mere seven months at Chelsea
before being sacked in February 2009. He next joined Bunyodkor
and steered them to the Uzbek title.
In one of many changes during the recess for the World Cup
in South Africa, Flamengo lost striker Adriano, a key player in
their title victory last year, who was transferred to AS Roma in
Brazil's most popular club also rescinded their contract
with goalkeeper Bruno after he was detained while police
investigate the disappearance and possible murder of his
ex-girlfriend. Bruno has denied involvement in comments to
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