Uzbekistan club side Bunyodkor have appointed World Cup winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari in a move which they hope will improve not only their team but also youth development throughout the country.
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The 60-year-old Scolari signed an 18-month deal with the Uzbek league leaders and Asian Champions League quarter-finalists.
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 said.
"His challenge will be to raise the standard of the club along with other Uzbekistan national teams in order to excel at the international level.''
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 great Zico, was sacked by English Premier League club Chelsea in February.
He coached Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title, and had also coached Brazilian clubs Gremio and Palmeiras to Copa Libertadores titles.
"Bunyodkor has bright prospects and they have performed consistently well in the last four years,'' Scolari said.
"(The academy) will provide an opportunity to the young Uzbek players to develop their potential.''
Uzbekistan still retain slim hopes of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.