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Dunga gives Brazil’s national soccer team a punch in the heart

August 6th 2006

Dunga gives Brazil’s national soccer team a punch in the heart


Heading into the 2006 World Cup with a team loaded to the gills with talent — Ronaldinho Gaucho, Kaka, Adriano, Ronaldo, Lucio, etc — coach Carlos Alberto Parreira went with the idea that the star power would come together and Brazil would once again hoist the World Cup trophy.

Parreira couldn’t have been more wrong as Brazil — which warmed up for the World’s largest tournament with weak friendlies, including one against an under-20 team — never seemed in sync and crashed out lamely against a determined French side.


Changes had to be made, and they’ve been made fast and furiously. Parreira is out and Brazil legend Dunga is in. Dunga, who has never previously coached, helped lead Brazil to the World Cup title in 1994, and is known as a Pete Rose type of player, sans the gambling issues. He was a player whose heart made up for any lack of skill, and Brazilians are hoping he’s the man who puts the heart back into the revered national team.


Dunga himself was quick to put his stamp on the team, favoring more players who are based in Brazil. And Dunga did the unthinkable in selecting the squad that will play Norway on Aug. 16 — he left off Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Kaka, Adriano and a host of others, and went with hungrier young players like Fred, Jonatas, Robinho, Vagner Love and Cruzeiro midfielder Wagner.

It remains to be seen who Dunga will choose when Brazil plays much-hated rival Argentina on Sept. 2, but the young coach has made his first statement and made it loudly — if you are planning on putting on the legendary yellow jersey of Brazil, you had better bring your heart.

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By William Wolfrum
Originally posted at:


Keywords and misspellings: futbol futball


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