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Brazil appoints Dunga as new coach after World Cup horror show


There is a new man tasked with fulfilling Brazil's World Cup destiny. But for a nation still smarting from the pain of that humbling 7-1 semifinal defeat to Germany, the announcement that Dunga is back in charge might raise a few eyebrows.

The 50-year-old is a legend in the country after making 91 appearances for “A Seleção” and leading the side to World Cup glory as captain in 1994. And yet during his previous four-year spell as coach of the national team, he could only take Brazil to the quarterfinals of the 2010 tournament, as they lost to Netherlands.

Dunga replaces Luiz Felipe Scolari – the country’s 2002 World Cup winning coach, who resigned after overseeing a heartbreaking conclusion to the 2014 installment. After that pummeling by eventual winners Germany – Brazil's biggest ever World Cup defeat – they were then beaten 3-0 by Netherlands in the third place playoff. Such a dramatic conclusion left the nation in shock and Scolari, who took responsibility for the horror show against Germany, stepped down last week.

Now Dunga is determined to put a smile back on the fans’ faces. “I am immensely happy – thank you for your confidence in me”, he said in a press conference, after taking control of the fivetime world champions. “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. 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. And not just the players, but the press and the fans too”.

Adenor Leonardo Bacchi – known as Tite – was thought to be a frontrunner for the job but the manager of São Paulo-based side Corinthians has been overlooked. That might be related to the recent appointment of Gilmar Rinaldi as Brazil's new technical director. He was goalkeeper in that successful 1994 team skippered by Dunga.

The president of Brazil's Football Confederation, José Maria Marin, said of Dunga: “He was world champion, captain of a world champion side. He has what it takes to lead the Brazil team. The numbers show he absolutely has the ability to take charge”.

Dunga spent 60 matches in charge of Brazil in his first stint as coach between 2006 and 2010, winning 42, drawing 12 and losing six. He was criticized for the style of play he employed, and the squad he chose to take to South Africa at the previous World Cup. Brazil was dumped out of the tournament in the last eight after a 2-1 defeat to Netherlands, leading to Dunga's sacking shortly after. But arguably, the state of the nation's soccer is in far worse shape this time around after a chastening experience on home soil.

Ever since Brazil won the right to host the tournament, its fans wanted the team to erase the memory of the last World Cup they hosted back in 1950. Then, they were beaten 2-1 by Uruguay in the deciding match, a defeat which provoked a spell of national mourning. Another was induced by that semifinal mauling.

Shorn of its two best players – Barcelona striker Neymar through injury and defender Thiago Silva because of suspension – a shellshocked Brazil were 5-0 down at halftime. By the end of its 7-1 defeat, the crowd were booing them and applauding Germany. Many of the players left the field in tears at the final whistle.

And Dunga said Brazil must adapt to the differences in the world game quickly. “Football has changed”, he added. “It changes every moment and every day. We like to talk here about talent and playing off the cuff. But we also praise German organization. So we have to harness our talent with planning”.

Dunga also made reference to Nelson Mandela, who was a pivotal figure in taking the World Cup to South Africa in 2010 before his death in December last year. “Nelson Mandela had everything against him”, he said. “He did not have a weapon and yet brought about change. I hope to have (even) one percent of his patience. I am not thinking about me but about the team. If the team is doing well then I'm happy”.

(Adapted from: http://edition.cnn.com)


According to the text, the announcement of Dunga as the new Brazilian coach

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