Veteran head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has left Cruzeiro after steering them to safety in Brazil’s Serie B.
Cruzeiro were shockingly relegated from the top flight for the first time in their history in 2019, and in October appointed World Cup-winning coach Scolari on a contract until the end of 2022.
When the 72-year-old took over, the four-time Brazilian champions were second-bottom due to a poor start and a six-point deduction after being found guilty of an unpaid transfer debt by FIFA.
A seven-game unbeaten run at the start of Scolari’s tenure got them out of the relegation zone but back-to-back defeats to Oeste and Juventude this month put them back in danger of dropping into Serie C.
A 2-1 victory over Operario-PR last week finally secured their safety, and Scolari has subsequently stepped down.
A club statement read: “Cruzeiro Esporte Clube and Luiz Felipe Scolari mutually decided to finish the second passage of the multi-champion coach.
“Collaborating with the club in the most challenging moment in its history, Scolari and his coaching staff fulfilled the important mission of maintaining Cruzeiro in Serie B, having led the team in 21 matches and accumulating nine wins, eight draws and four defeats.
“Cruzeiro is grateful and recognises all the work, dedication and professionalism of Felipao and his staff for the club at this important moment, and wishes luck and happiness to the world champion coach and his staff.”