Mano Menezes was fired Friday as manager of the Brazilian national soccer team just 18 months ahead of the 2014 World Cup, which Brazil is hosting.

The decision emerged from a meeting of the three top officials of the Brazilian Soccer Federation.

Menezes took over the squad in August 2010 and though the team won 21 of its 33 matches under his guidance, none of the victories was against a top-flight opponent.

His tenure included a loss to Mexico in the finals of the 2012 Olympics and an embarrassing quarterfinal exit in last year's Copa America competition.

As recently as Oct. 30, the now-former manager offered an upbeat appraisal of the team's progress, describing Brazil's 2012 record as "quite positive."

Among possible replacements for Menezes, Brazilian media mentioned Luiz Felipe Scolari, who led the team to the most recent of its record five World Cup titles in 2002.

Other names being bandied about include Muricy Ramalho, currently with Santos, and Tite, the manager of Corinthians. EFE