Zagallo: CBF was wrong to sack Menezes as Brazil coach

The World Cup winner has admitted he does not feel it was time for a change of national team coach and said that Neymar needs experience alongside him

Brazil legend Mario Zagallo has said that the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) was wrong to sack coach Mano Menezes.

The 50-year-old was dismissed last month and replaced by former Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Andres Sanchez then stepped down in protest of Menezes’ departure with Carlos Alberto Perreira taking over, and Zagallo says that while he feels the new recruits will do well in their respective roles, the sacking of Menezes was premature.

"I like Scolari as a friend and he will be working with Carlos Alberto Perreira and I have faith in them to do well," Zagallo told reporters.

"But it was not the right time for the CBF to sack Mano Menezes. Things were getting better, all the Brazilians felt the same way. But it is the CBF's responsibility and it took that decision, but for me it was not the right time.”

Zagallo, who won the World Cup with the Selecao as assistant coach in 1994, also said that whilst Santos striker Neymar is a talented footballer, he needs experienced players around him if Brazil are to prosper at World Cup 2014.

“Neymar is a great player, but he is a boy, he is 19-years-old, and he lacks people he can look up to. He needs someone beside him, he still needs to learn. Another boy, Pele, had players to inspire him such as Garrincha, Vava, Nilson Santos.”