RIO DE JANEIRO: Dunga has launched his second coming as Brazil boss by attacking what he deemed the players’ over-emotional and over-commercial behaviour at the World Cup finals writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Hosts Brazil, under Luiz Felipe Scolari, reached the semi-finals without ever playing well then suffered the worst defeat in their history, by 7-1, against eventual champions Germany in Belo Horizonte.
To compound the failure to match winning expectations, Brazil then lost the third place play-off 3-0 to Holland; the first time Brazil had lost two successive games since 1941.
Scolari quit two days later and Dunga, whose first spell in charge ended in quarter-final defeat by Holland at the 2010 World Cup, was appointed at the start of last week.
Dunga set out his initial ideas in an interview with TV Globo in which, among other issues, he addressed a need for the player to commit himself to the team both on and off the pitch.
He said: “Neymar is a worldwide figure. But what we want is not to play the way it suits Neymar but for Neymar to play the way it suits Brazil. We have to create a structure around him to make a difference.
“The national team always has to be the priority. When he is giving an interview on television he needs to wear a hat with the national team on it. The only ‘marketing’ that matters is for football.”
Dunga’s comments were aimed at Neymar’s insistence on wearing a cap bearing a sponsor’s logo when facing the media. The new coach also criticised the distraction prompted by players such as Neymar and Dani Alves changing their hairstyles during the World Cup.
“The marketing family can come later,” said Dunga. “I want to focus on what happens on the pitch, not on what happens off it.”
Dunga also took the players to task for the extended singing of the national anthem before matches at the World Cup this year and the Confederations Cup a year ago.
He said: “It’s nice but anyone preparaing just before a match should not let himself be carried away like that. It was all a bit embarrassing.”
Dunga also picked up the personal behaviour theme in an interview with the magazine, Veja. He thought the sight of the players in floods of tears – particularly after the penalties win over Chile – had been a negative one.
“We are men,” said Dunga, “and men do not cry.” On that basis he also criticised players who openly backed the Forca Neymar campaign before the semi-final. Neymar had been ruled out of the World Cup after being injured in the quarter-final win over Colombia.
Dunga added: “When you to go war you can’t be crying for what’s lost. You have to support the soldiers who are going off to fight.”
The one man to escape criticism was Scolari. Dunga considered that his predecessor had set exactly the right tone, ahead of the World Cup, by insisting that the team would play to win.