Brazil legend Zico may succeed Thailand's Zico

Brazil legend Zico may succeed Thailand's Zico

Former Brazil superstar Zico has reportedly sent his profile to the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) and expressed interest in becoming coach of the national team in the wake of Kiatisak Senamuang’s departure.

Brazil’s Zico during a charity match in Rio de Janeiro last year. photo: ap

FAT officials revealed that two former Brazilian stars had approached the association and submitted their credentials but did not name them.

Zico, known in Thailand as the ‘White Pele’, is currently coaching Indian Super League side Goa.

Zico, 64, has previously coached the Japanese national team, steering the Blue Samurai to the 2004 Asian Cup title and helping them qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.

The former Brazilian striker’s bid should interest FAT chief Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang who has said he was aiming for an “experienced hunter” to guide the national team to the World Cup.

Carlos Dunga, 53, is believed to be the other Brazilian to apply for the job.

Dunga played for Brazil from 1987-1998 as a defender and skippered the national team which won the World Cup in 1994 in the US.

He was coach of Brazil from 2014 to 2016 before being sacked.

Earlier this week, former Thailand coach Winfried Schaefer met Somyot to discuss a possible return to the national team.

Rene Meulensteen, former first-team coach of Manchester United, also had a meeting with Somyot and FAT technical chief Witthaya Laohakul.

According to reports, other candidates include former Japan coach Takeshi Okada, former Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella, former Japan U23 team coach Makoto Teguramori, former SCG Muang Thong United boss Dragan Talajic, former Algeria coach Milovan Rajevac, ex-Japan manager Philippe Troussier, and former Bulgaria coach Lothar Matthaeus.

Meanwhile, Kiatisak has called off a press conference he had scheduled for Monday, giving no specific reason for either the planned briefing or its hurried cancellation.

Kiatisak, who is nicknamed Zico after the Brazilian legend, announced his resignation as coach of Thailand last week after the War Elephants lost 4-0 to Japan in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in Saitama.

The rout came five days after a 3-0 home defeat to Saudi Arabia in the same tournament.

Kiatisak, a former national team striker, yesterday sent out a media invite for a press conference on Monday at Zico Foundation in Nonthaburi.

His lawyer, Warin Tiemjaras, was also scheduled to address the meeting.

While the invitation did not specify any reason for the press conference, it was speculated that the subject would have mainly revolved around his resignation last Friday and the circumstances leading to it.

However, later on the same day, the former Thailand coach announced that the press conference had been cancelled.

Once again, no reason for the cancellation was given as well.

However, it is expected that Kiatisak will organise a press conference after the Songkran holiday.

This week, the 43-year-old coach lashed out at Somyot and fans who criticised him following Thailand’s losses to the Saudis and Japan.