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By Robbie Blakeley, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil coach Dunga has left his post after the nation’s disappointing quarter final exit at the hands of the Netherlands. The move will not surprise or disappoint most Cariocas, who never warmed to the cautiously-minded and tactically-conservative treinador as Dunga attempted to mold a team in his own image, basing the side’s success more on defensive qualities rather than the vast attacking and creative options at his disposal.

The CBF fired Dunga immediately after the team's return from an unsuccessful World Cup campaign in South Africa, photo by Agencia Brasil.

“With the elimination of Brazil from the World Cup in South Africa, the CBF announces the dismissal of the technical commission of the Brazilian team,” the national Football Confederation declared.

Rio legend Adriano, who recently left Flamengo for Italian side AS Roma, failed to make Dunga’s final squad for South Africa, while other Rio favorites Vagner Love and Fred also controversially missed out, along with several younger players widely tipped for selection, leaving a squad reliant on players at European clubs to the chagrin of most supporters.

Former Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari, who won the World Cup with them in 2002, is the favorite to replace the outgoing Dunga, although Corinthians’ Mano Menezes and former AC Milan boss Leonardo have also been tipped as potential successors. Felipão’s 2002 side left the world in awe with an attacking trio of Ronaldo Fenômeno, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho Gaúcho, and fans are crying out for a return to beautiful football after four years.

However, it has not all been bad under the former national team captain. Before falling to Holland yesterday, the seleção had gone ten games unbeaten, their last defeat coming in October 2009 against Bolivia in a meaningless World Cup qualifier after Brazil had already won top spot in the group.

Brazil midfielder Dani Alves is dejected after losing the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Quarter Final match against Holland at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images for Sony.

Dunga must also be credited for crafting the formidable attacking partnership between Robinho and Luis Fabiano. Under him the strikers scored 43 goals, enormously improving their previously mediocre scoring records in national colors. Brazil also won the Copa America in 2007 with a comprehensive 3-0 victory in the final over arch rivals Argentina, and took the Confederations Cup in 2009. Yet the failure to land football’s greatest prize made the decision to remove Dunga’s staff straightforward.

In the aftermath of Friday’s defeat, Julio Cesar openly admitted to being at fault for Holland’s equalizing goal. “I came for a ball I was never going to reach”, the Inter Milan keeper told reporters. Rather than hide in the shadows, he bravely and emotionally fielded difficult questions moments after walking off the pitch.

Cesar also appeared before the cameras at Rio’s Galeão airport upon his arrival back home. Far from attacking him with threats and abuse as they had when hero-turned villain Felipe Melo stepped out, supporters rallied behind the him with cries of “Julio! Julio!”. The action clearly touched Cesar, who stopped briefly to thank them for their support before heading for his Rio home in tears alongside his mother.

Former Fluminense defender Thiago Silva also stopped to talk with the media, and when the 25 year-old was asked which player had been the most upset after the defeat to the Netherlands he immediately responded, “Without a doubt, Julio Cesar. No one could say anything to make him happy after the game. He wanted to be left alone.”

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Anybody have an explanation for Brazil’s constant under-achievement in football? With its gigantic population, in a country that is undeniably football-crazy, how can it NOT win any and all games against smaller rivals? The team picked from 3 million Uruguayans – approximately the population of Amsterdam – even made it hard for the Dutch. Are Uruguayans more gifted in some way, than the Brazilians? If not, then what?

  2. What I was trying to say, it seems strange that with such a vast pool of talent to draw on, Brazil doesn’t just win everything. Uruguay and Brazil have pretty similar cultures, level of interest in the game, genetic pool, etc, as S. Brazil, but ‘almost’ competes with the ‘whole of Brazil to pick from’ seleção at football, despite having the population of little more than Rio’s Zona Sul. Holland too, ok, a different culture, standard of living etc, but a very small country and therefore small pool of talent. What’s up here? Is Brazil over- or under -achieving at football?

  3. The real problem in Brasil is not the players, we could make ten differents teams and they all would be competitive in any world cup, the real problem is CBF

  4. ‘ we could make ten differents teams and they all would be competitive in any world cup’. I’m sure you’re right, after all, this is what would be expected, given the population size and love of the game. So how does the CBF hold standards down?

  5. honestly Dunga didnt have Brazil at heart believe it or not the absence of Ronaldhino will pose difficult challenge on Dunga coz truily im an African but like any Brazil fan across the Globe Ronal;dhiuno could have made an impact. Kaka too as Dunga accuse Ronaldhino disappointend by his character so leaving Dhino on bad character didnt work

  6. […] On a footballing front, Sandro comes with a huge reputation. Captain of the Brazil U-20 side that won the South American championship in 2009, he made his full debut under Dunga later that year in a World Cup qualifier against Chile. He was unlucky to miss out on the final 23 that went to South Africa for the World Cup in June, but has played in two of the four games since Mano Menezes’ arrival. […]

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