The Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) today confirmed its selection of Carlos Dunga as coach of the Brazilian national team. Dunga succeeds Luiz Felipe Scolari, who resigned after Brazil's disappointing performance at the 2014 World Cup. Dunga's appointment to the position of coach of the Brazilian national team constitutes his second stint in charge of the Selecao after coaching Brazil to the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup. As a player, Dunga captained Brazil to World Cup victory as a player in 1994, and similarly captained Brazil to the 1998 World Cup final in France. In his previous tenure as Brazil coach, Dunga led Brazil to victory in the 2007 Copa America and the 2009 Confederations Cup. Nevertheless, he is largely remembered for Brazil's 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands despite having led 1-0 at halftime thanks to a goal by Robinho.
Upon his appointment as coach, Dunga acknowledged that the landscape of global football had changed in recent years, such that Brazil were no longer the best team in the world, as follows:
I'm not going to sell a dream. It's reality. The reality is there is a lot of work needed. So when you create high expectations for the fans, football is unpredictable. Nothing is for sure.You have to win every day, every second, every minute, and every time football is growing all over the world and more people are getting better and more competent. They are very engaged. There will be a lot of work too. We can't act like we're the best. No. We were the best, but we have to save this capability that we have. We have talent to do this, but we aren't humble enough to recognize that other national teams have worked very hard, for many years, to get where they are today and where they've got to, and we have to work very hard to be able to get back to where we once were, and to have the right to be within the best in the world.
As a player, Dunga was known for his tough tackling in midfield and inspirational leadership on the pitch. When he was first appointed coach of the national team in 2006, many purists feared that he would lead Brazil away from its tradition of attacking football toward a defensive, counterattacking, highly pragmatic approach that prized winning above all else. But after Scolari's deplorable results with Brazil at the 2014 World Cup, illustrated most spectacularly by a 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semifinals, Dunga's return is likely to stabilize an off kilter Brazilian national team and infuse it with fresh tactical thinking in contrast to Scolari's reliance on player loyalty, team spirit and industriousness. As coach from 2006 to 2010, Dunga created one of the most tactically disciplined Brazilian national teams in history that was known for precision passing and one of the swiftest transitions from defense to offense in the modern game.
Dunga coached Brazil for 60 games, earning 42 wins, 12 draws and six defeats. He will be accompanied by assistant coach Andrey Lopes, with whom he worked at the Brazilian club Internacional. In the press conference where he was presented by President Jose Maria Marin and Technical Director Gilmar Rinaldi, Dunga acknowledged that he had to work on building his relationship with the press given his historical tendency to lose his temper or respond curtly to questions from journalists. Brazil fans can feel comfortable that the Selecao is now back in the hands of a young, experienced coach who knows Brazilian football at the highest level. All things considered, Dunga is the best Brazilian available to coach the Brazilian national team although only results will tell whether he has the tactical acumen to resurrect a Brazilian footballing culture that is now, officially, in ruins.