RIO DE JANEIRO: The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) on Tuesday appointed Dunga as coach, replacing Luiz Felipe Scolari, whose contract was not renewed after the hosts’ World Cup semi-final thrashing by Germany.
The 50-year-old Dunga, Brazil’s 1994 World-Cup winning skipper, takes the reins for a second time having led the Selecao at the 2010 tournament.
“I am immensely happy,” said Dunga, who in his playing days was a tough-tackling midfielder with Serie A side Fiorentina and Germany’s Stuttgart, and who also had a spell in Japan with Jubilo Iwata.
“Thank you for your confidence in me. The fans are very down right now but they are right behind the team which means so much to them.
“I am not here to sell a dream, we must get down to work,” he added, arriving with a brief to make the team shipshape for the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with next year’s Copa America in Chile a first test.
“We must get results and forge a side for 2018. This team is very young. We must find the way to blend new players with those who have more experience.
“We have to work conscientiously; not just the players, but the press and the fans too.”
His no-nonsense style dating from his days as a player was decried by some but his 91 caps showed the esteem in which he was held and that respect has endured, said CBF President Jose Maria Marin.
“He was world champion, captain of a world champion side,” said Marin.
“He has what it takes to lead the Brazil team. The numbers show he absolutely has the ability to take charge.”
Dunga said Brazil had to understand that the modern game is constantly evolving.
“Football changes every instant and every day. Attacking football, as people understand it, is to play with four or five up front. But at the World Cup you saw teams marking 10 metres behind the half-way line!”
Dunga’s first match in charge will be a September 5 friendly against Colombia in Miami.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2014.
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