Brazil women hire former U.S. coach Sundhage


Pia Sundhage of Sweden has taken over as the coach of Brazil's women's national team with a promise of change, but not a radical overhaul.

Brazilian soccer federation head Rogerio Caboclo introduced the 59-year-old Sundage to reporters and staff on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro.

"I'd add the American mentality, they don't play 90 minutes, they play 92 minutes," Sundhage said. "Even though they have the biggest egos, they have the best players. I want that to be contagious.

"In Sweden we are good at defending and organisation so if I can bring the best part of the U.S. and the best part of Sweden to this fantastic team then I think this will be an interesting journey."

Sundhage said she signed a two-year deal with a possible extension for the 2023 Women's World Cup. Brazil were eliminated in the round of 16 by hosts France.

Sundhage won Olympic gold medals as coach of the United States in 2008 and 2012 and silver with Sweden in 2016.

She is the first foreigner to coach Brazil's team and her first major challenge will be at next year's Tokyo Olympics.

Sundhage replaces Oswaldo Alvarez, who was fired this month after almost two years in charge. She also said she was not bothered by the organisational insecurity or lack of time customarily afforded Brazilian managers.

"It is a privilege to play under pressure," a smiling Sundhage said.

"I almost cried (when I visited the Brazilian training camp). I was standing on the penalty spot and I saw boys training, great coaches doing great things and at that specific moment I was thinking I have been all over the world but I have never experienced anything like this before.

"For my football heart it was something special. It was difficult to contain my tears."