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Soccer

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dunga named Brazil coach for 2nd time

Brazil''s new manager Dunga arrives at a news conference.

‘We’re no longer the best,’ he says

Brazil named Dunga as their manager for the second time, two weeks after they were hammered 7-1 by Germany in the World Cup semifinals, a result which led to the resignation of Luiz Felipe Scolari.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil is bringing back Dunga to coach the national football team, four years after he was fired from the same job.

Yesterday’s hiring comes two weeks after Brazil was eliminated from the World Cup in a humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals.

The 50-year-old Dunga replaces Luiz Felipe Scolari, who resigned last week after Brazil failed to win football’s premier event on its home soil.

It could be a difficult road for the former defensive midfielder. Several polls released in the last few days show he is highly unpopular, by margins of at least 3-to-1.

“When it comes to the survey, we have to overcome that,” Dunga said. “I think they (the fans) will eventually understand the work we are planning, and I don’t feel rejected. ... I’m not going to change people’s mind set, but I will change the way people think about me.”

He also brought up the name of former South African President Nelson Mandela.

“Without firing a gun, he changed how people thought about him,” Dunga added.

The Brazilian football confederation confirmed the appointment during a news conference at its headquarters in suburban Rio de Janeiro, but gave no details about salary. CBF President José María Marín indicated he wanted Dunga to continue until the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Dunga gave a blunt evaluation of Brazil’s situation.

“We’re no longer the best,” he said. “We’re all aware of this. We can’t tell our fans that we’re the best.”

Dunga came to the job for the first time in 2006 with no management experience. He was criticized for the team’s physical style of play and conservative tactics and spent time yesterday suggesting he might be different this time.

He said his focus was already on the next World Cup. Brazil will also play next year in the Copa América — the South American championship — and in a special Copa América edition in 2016 played in the United States.

“My first time as coach, I was asked to rescue the team’s value and get results,” he said. “This second time around, the focus is on preparing the side for the 2018 World Cup.”

Dunga’s real name is Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri. His nickname Dunga literally means “Dopey” in Portuguese — the same as one of the characters in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs — and was given to him during childhood because of his small stature.

He was the captain of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup-winning team, and coached the national team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He was dismissed after Brazil lost 2-1 in the quarterfinals to the Netherlands.

Herald staff with AP

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