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News > Sport

Brazil's Soccer Coach More Popular Than Most Politicians

  • Brazilian national head coach, Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, known as Tite

    Brazilian national head coach, Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, known as Tite | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 March 2017
Opinion

Compared with a recent poll for 2018 presidential candidates, the head coach would be second behind Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva.

Brazil became the first country to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after beating Paraguay on Tuesday. Team manager, Tite, has enjoyed a devastating run of qualifying games and the admiration of the country, to the point where he could mount a serious challenge for Brazil’s presidency.

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Brazil’s 3-0 victory over Paraguay saw the team qualify as the first for the World Cup, besides Russia, which automatically qualifies as host of the tournament. Brazil's national Selecao goes through to soccer’s biggest tournament with four games to spare off the back of a 13-game winning streak.

Asked in a poll by the Parana Research Institute, “Would you vote for Tite for president of Brazil in 2018?” almost 15 percent of those asked said "Yes" to the national coach. Around 5 percent said they were unsure, and 80 percent said "No," with local media pointing out that if Tite took the presidency the team would be left without their coach.

In comparison to the most recent poll by the same institute from February, former President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, considered Brazil's most popular politician, led with 22.6 percent. Right-wing candidate Aecio Neves gained 12.9 percent, Green Party Candidate Marina Silva boasted 12.6 percent and Jair Bolsonaro — who has been dubbed the Brazilian Trump — sat at 9.1 percent.

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Amid ongoing corruption scandals, austerity and Brazil’s worst recession in decades, current President Michel Temer, who came to power in a parliamentary coup against Dilma Rousseff, has an approval rating that some have said makes his post illegitimate.

February figures from Pollster MDA said that the number of people who regard Temer’s government as “bad” or “terrible” sits at 44 percent. Those who rated it as “great” or “good” was at just 10.3 percent. The president is also literally unelectable — he is banned from running in elections for eight years over charges of election financing fraud.

Brazil will be looking to make amends after it was embarrassingly eliminated as hosts of the 2014 World Cup by eventual winners Germany, who pummeled the Selecao 7-1 in the semi-final.

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