Portugal national soccer team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari joined Israel coach Dror Kashtan and Portsmouth director of football Avraham Grant at a business and sports conference in Tel Aviv on Monday. Scolari, a World Cup winning coach with Brazil in 2002, was invited to the conference by the Sports Department of the Peres Center for Peace. Scolari had high marks for Israel's national team. "Israel is gradually improving. The team was only one step away from reaching the World Cup, but it needs to continue improving step by step," he said. On Tuesday Scolari is due to visit a soccer school which brings together Palestinians and Israeli youngsters. "I've coached in Kuwait, Portugal, Brazil and Saudi Arabia. I've seen that through football you can reach peace and understanding and true friendship," Scolari added. Scolari, twice South American coach of the year, was widely tipped to replace Sven-G ran Eriksson as England coach last summer. However, he withdrew from the race before the 2006 World Cup claiming that his relationship with the Portuguese players would be ruined if he decided to take up another role after the competition. Scolari said. "I don't regret not taking the England job. Who knows, maybe in the future I'll coach them, but not at the moment," he said on Monday.