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Brazil Aims to Recover Hiring Dunga

Brazil Aims to Recover Hiring Dunga

Posted by Laura Zúñiga on July 28, 2014

Brazil are on the road to recovery under their newly appointed manager, Dunga. Here’s takes a look at the situation in hand.

It was the worst defeat in their history. Brazil, playing at home succumbed to eventual winners, Germany in the worst way possible. Never before in their history have they lost like this and possibly never before were they humiliated like this in front of their very own fans. Maracanazo will be totally wiped from everyone’s memory with a loss of this stature. Their nemesis from that time, Uruguay has been officially replaced by Germany and the manner in which they capitulated opened up more questions rather than answers. What happened to Brazil? Was Germany really that good?

Evaluations and self-evaluations will continue till the next World Cup and in all possibility to the World Cup after that. This was not Tahiti or San Marino, neither was it American Samoa or Saudi Arabia. This was a five-time World Cup winner and a country which lives and breathes football every single day. No matter what the situation is domestically of even politically, football is something which every Brazilian has for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And for a country of such stature to lose in this manner, that too in a World Cup hosted in Brazil is surely too much to fathom for a fan.

Not only the semi-final loss, Brazil also lost their next match against Netherlands, thereby conceding 10 goals in a matter of just two matches. After the most soul-crushing defeat, that too by the biggest margin in a World Cup, surely their fans hoped for some respite or at least some fight-back from their heroes. Alas, there were none and Brazil have now been thrown officially from their perch as one of the “game-inventors” in world football. If 1950 led to exiles and total removal of everyone associated with the team, 2014 should see likewise. As goes a saying – “To create something beautiful, you need to destroy the existing setup“. Instead of being angry, hurt and resentful, Brazil fans should rejoice that a new era is going to dawn. It will take time, and maybe even a decade might pass before they are frontrunners for the sixth trophy; but Brazil will be back and they will make history once more.

It was only due to Dunga’s pragmatic approach that Brazil resorted to a defensive unit under his tenure. Sure, they did win the Confederations Cup, but they were exposed in that World Cup defeat to Netherlands in 2010. Although that led to his ouster, subsequently Brazil managers have spoken highly about going back to their roots and playing football the “Brazilian way”. However, a pertinent question arises – can Brazil really go back to playing in their own way if they do not have the players to do so? While Scolari did indeed bring back that samba spirit during last year’s Confederations Cup, it was more due to Neymar’s inspiration and stellar performance. In 2002 and 2006, Brazil had those players who can turn the game on its head in an instant – they had Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos, Kaka, Adriano et al.

During those years, they could afford to be playing like their good old samba days just because of the simple fact that they had the players to do so. However, during the recent couple of years, goals have come majorly from the midfield and not from the strikers. When you have a scenario wherein the number 9 in a Brazil shirt is failing to score goals game-in game-out, you know there is something massively wrong with the setup. Perhaps it was apt that Klose overtook Ronaldo’s all-time goal-scoring against the very same Brazil.

Scolari’s sacking right after the World Cup was imminent but the appointment of Dunga raised more questions. It is a matter of great indignity when Argentina has more notable coaches than Brazil at this juncture in history – Jorge Sampaoli, Jose Pekerman, Alejandro Sabella to name a few. And the worst part is, maybe some of them were even considered for this job before it was given to Dunga. Quite interestingly, CBF’s new director of football, Gilmar Rinaldi had this to say while appointing Dunga – “At the moment, a foreign coach doesn’t fit with our reality. We have to look for someone at home, with all our defects, and with all our qualities.” One should ideally forget about the fact that Dunga and Rinaldi used to be teammates from their Internacional days.

However, one thing that will always favor Dunga is his no-nonsense approach to coaching and his daring abilities to drop star players and even then achieve the necessary results. Having won 49 out of 68 matches between 2006 and 2010, Dunga is surely one of the top candidates to lead Brazil on their path to recovery. But the question remains – is he the only candidate? Football romantics will talk about Zico taking over, since he is the last remaining member of the 1982 team – a team which embodied the joga bonito spirit in its truest sense.

In hindsight, romanticism might not be best recipe for a demoralized team at this moment; it can be looked at when they are performing at top gear and need something else to set themselves apart from others. What Brazil needs right now is the famous siege mentality. True, Brazil will not play an eye-catching brand of football, neither will they show adaptability but under Dunga, they might be on the road to redemption.

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