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Bunyodkor pins hopes on Scolari

UZBEKISTAN club Bunyodkor hopes the arrival of World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will improve not only its team but youth development in the country.

The 60-year-old Scolari has signed an 18-month deal with the Uzbek league leader and Asian Champions League quarterfinalist. As part of his job, he will also oversee the national youth academy recently founded in Tashkent.

"Scolari will boost the prospects of the club and also Uzbek football in general," Bunyodkor Executive Director Tavakkal Ismailov was quoted by the Asian Football Confederation Website.

Bunyodkor's hiring of Scolari was in keeping with a big-spending and ambitious transfer policy. Veteran Brazil playmaker Rivaldo plays at the club, which also came close to the audacious signing of Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o.

Scolari, who takes over from another Brazilian Zico, was sacked by English Premier League club Chelsea in February. He coached Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title.

"Bunyodkor has bright prospects and they have performed consistently well in the last four years," Scolari said. "(The academy) will provide an opportunity to young Uzbek players to develop their potential."


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