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Dunga makes his first Brazil squad announcement today in Rio

Dunga makes his first Brazil squad announcement today in Rio

Posted by Laura Zúñiga on August 19, 2014

The good news is that people will finally stop talking about the unmitigated disaster that was the World Cup semi-final against Germany. Probably.

Later on Tuesday, new Brazil coach Dunga names his first squad since his reappointment. His opening game back in charge is against the Selecao's World Cup quarter-final opponents, Colombia.

Two teams, that, on current form, are headed in polar opposite directions. The Colombians, even without supposed star attraction Radamel Falcao, were one of the star attractions of last month's tournament.

Inspired by their principal conductor, James Rodriguez, the South Americans could have gone even further than the last eight had it not been for some brutal treatment handed out to their No. 10 by the not quite so gracious hosts.

Dunga's brief is remarkably similar to that of 2006, the first time he was handed quite possibly the most demanding task in world football.

The 1994 World Cup winning captain faces a rebuilding mission. Having been handed the job swiftly following Luiz Felipe Scolari's resignation, the former midfielder has had time to think, to plot and to plan.

Now, with his first squad announcement imminent, we will have a first inkling of his initial conclusions. What does he think about the state of the current crop of players at his disposal?

There are obvious holes that need filling and Dunga has immediate decisions to make. With the retirements of goalkeeper Julio Cesar and striker Fred, the top and bottom ends of the team remain empty.

Whilst there have been a constant band of names surrounding the No. 1 jersey for a while now, with the likes of Jefferson, Diego Alves and Neto all mooted as potential successors, the feted No. 9 shirt is a different matter.

Such was the success of Ronaldo Fenomeno from the late 1990s up until the middle of the last decade, there are inevitable comparisons between the three-time World Player of the Year and anyone who dares to pull on that number.

Only Luis Fabiano has worn it with any level of consistent success, including a streak of 19 goals in 23 games between 2008 and 2010. What would a manager give for a spearhead with that kind of goalscoring instinct right now, and it must be a source of frustration that Diego Costa, a battering ram of a forward suited to the way Dunga shaped Brazil previously is now leading the line for Spain.

Perhaps the most deserving of the No. 9 shirt on current form is Sao Paulo's Alan Kardec.

The 25-year-old forward has netted five goals in his last seven outings and this past weekend became the first player in history to score against all four major Paulista clubs; Sao Paulo, Corinthians and Santos whilst playing for Palmeiras, before netting the winner against his former club for Sao Paulo on Sunday afternoon.

But Dunga is, above all, a pragmatist. There are no magic solutions to the Selecao's current malaise, no time for wistful recollections of what the mind conjures up when the words “Brazil” and “football” are uttered.

 

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