Who is Brazil coach Fernando Diniz? “Brazilian Guardiola” also leading Fluminense while bridging Carlo Ancelotti gap

Brazil coach Fernando Diniz: In the wake of a disappointing performance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Brazil faced a pivotal moment in their soccer history. The national federation aimed to transition away from the leadership of their long-standing head coach, Tite. While their top choice to replace him had expressed interest in taking over for the 2026 World Cup, he wasn’t available immediately.

Carlo Ancelotti, the renowned Italian coach, had reportedly agreed to become the next coach of the Brazil national team. However, he would only assume the role in the following year, coinciding with the expiration of his contract at Real Madrid. In the interim, Brazil needed a capable manager to guide the team.

Enter Fernando Diniz, a name that’s been making waves in Brazilian soccer. This article delves into the story of Brazil’s interim coach, Fernando Diniz, who is simultaneously managing the Brazilian giants, Fluminense.

A Dual Role

Fernando Diniz, at 49 years old, currently holds the position of interim head coach for the Brazil national team. Simultaneously, he continues to manage Fluminense, one of the most prominent football clubs in Brazil.

Diniz’s journey began in April 2022 when he took charge of Fluminense, replacing Abel Braga. His tenure got off to an impressive start, as he led the club to victory in the Campeonato Carioca, the regional championship of Rio de Janeiro, in 2023. However, his path to leading the Brazilian national team was not straightforward.

In July 2023, Diniz was appointed as the interim head coach of Brazil, following the departure of Tite in the aftermath of the 2022 World Cup. It’s essential to note that Diniz’s role as Brazil’s coach is temporary, as the understanding is that Carlo Ancelotti will assume the position of permanent head coach once his contract with Real Madrid expires in June 2024.

more about Fernando Diniz

A Journeyman Player Turned Coach

Fernando Diniz’s connection to Brazilian soccer runs deep. Before embarking on his coaching career, he had a successful stint as a midfielder, representing several Brazilian clubs over a 15-year journeyman career. Notable clubs in his playing career included Palmeiras, Corinthians, Fluminense, Flamengo, Cruzeiro, Santos, and Clube Atletico Juventus.

His playing days concluded in 2008, after which he transitioned into coaching. Diniz followed a path that’s typical in South American soccer, with coaching stints at various clubs. His resume includes stops at Botafogo, Atletico Paranaense, Fluminense, Sao Paulo, Santos, and Vasco da Gama. His second appointment at Fluminense marked a significant chapter in his managerial career. Remarkably, Diniz has held the position of head coach at 18 different clubs in his 14-year managerial career, a common occurrence in South America, where clubs frequently hire and fire coaches.

The “Brazilian Guardiola”

Fernando Diniz has earned a nickname in the soccer world: the “Brazilian Guardiola.” This moniker draws parallels between Diniz’s coaching style and that of the renowned Spanish coach, Pep Guardiola, who achieved immense success with Barcelona from 2008 to 2012, employing a possession-based “tiki-taka” style of play.

Diniz’s entertaining and ambitious style of play, characterized by ball retention and fluid passing, helped him maintain his coaching career’s upward trajectory. Despite facing setbacks, including being sacked by Atletico Paranaense in 2018, his innovative approach to the game has won admirers. Legendary Brazilian footballer Ronaldo commended Diniz’s style, stating that it “puts on a show,” while ESPN has labeled Diniz as “soccer’s hipster coach.”

However, it’s worth noting that Diniz himself has distanced himself from the “Brazilian Guardiola” label. He distinguishes his style by focusing on fluid player rotations, not adhering rigidly to Pep’s system. Diniz’s tactics often involve strategic overloads and sudden shifts in formation, keeping opponents on their toes.

The Transition to Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti, the highly decorated manager who has won the Champions League four times (twice with Real Madrid and twice with AC Milan), is poised to take over as the head coach of the Brazil national team. This announcement was made by Brazil Football Confederation (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues during the summer.

While Ancelotti’s achievements at the club level are unparalleled, this transition brings some uncertainty, as he has never managed an international team before. Brazil has long coveted Ancelotti, but he was committed to his contract with Real Madrid, making him unavailable until its expiration. The expectation is that Ancelotti will assume his role in time to lead Brazil in the 2024 Copa America, to be held in the United States.

To bridge the gap until Ancelotti’s arrival, Fernando Diniz will continue to manage the national team, simultaneously retaining his role at Fluminense.


In the ever-evolving world of Brazilian soccer, Fernando Diniz emerges as a pivotal figure. His dynamic coaching style, coupled with his remarkable journey from a player to a coach, sets him apart. Although the “Brazilian Guardiola” moniker may have been assigned to him, Diniz has carved out his unique path in the world of football.

As Brazil eagerly anticipates Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival, Fernando Diniz shoulders the responsibility of leading the national team and Fluminense, serving as a crucial bridge during this transition period. His ability to maintain Brazil’s soccer prowess and implement his innovative strategies make him a coach worth watching in the months to come.


  1. Is Fernando Diniz’s coaching style similar to Pep Guardiola’s? Fernando Diniz’s possession-based style has earned him the nickname “Brazilian Guardiola,” drawing parallels to Pep Guardiola’s approach. However, Diniz’s tactics incorporate unique elements.
  2. When will Carlo Ancelotti take over as Brazil’s head coach? Carlo Ancelotti is set to become Brazil’s head coach in July 2024, following the expiration of his contract with Real Madrid.
  3. How many clubs has Fernando Diniz coached during his managerial career? Fernando Diniz has managed 18 different clubs during his 14-year managerial career, a common occurrence in South American soccer.
  4. What is the significance of the 2024 Copa America for Brazil? The 2024 Copa America is a crucial tournament for Brazil, as it is expected to be the first major competition under Carlo Ancelotti’s leadership.
  5. What is unique about Fernando Diniz’s coaching philosophy? Diniz’s coaching philosophy is characterized by fluid player rotations and strategic overloads, differentiating it from traditional tiki-taka styles.

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