JOHANNESBURG - Brazil have reaped dividends from ditching their traditional, attacking style for a more pragmatic approach, coach Dunga said on Monday.
The 46-year-old said that since 1989 - when Brazil began to move to a less artistic, European type of game and also when Dunga himself began his national team involvement - the South Americans had won a hatful of titles,
"In Brazil, they're always saying we don't play beautiful football anymore," Dunga told reporters on the eve of his team's opening World Cup game against North Korea.
"But there's one point I'd like to make: in 1989, Brazil had not won the Copa America for 30 or 40 years and the World Cup for 20 years.
"Since then, we have won the World Cup in 1994, finished runners-up in 1998, won the World Cup again in 2002, the Copa America in 1989, plus four more times ..."
"I've seen attendances rise at Brazilian games, including lots of young people under 40.
"Everyone has his taste and is entitled to express how he wants the team to play. I like to win.
"In any case, a team which scores more than 100 goals must have some creativity."
Brazilian football has been in something of an identity crisis since 1982, when one of the most stylish teams the World Cup has ever seen failed to win the trophy.
A similar failure in 1986 led to further questioning of Brazil's so-called "jogo bonito" (Beautiful Game).
In 1990, Brazil changed their style completely and Dunga's battling style was seen as personifying the new approach. However, when they went out in the second round to Italy, Dunga was made the scapegoat.
Dunga bounced back to captain the 1994 and 1998 teams, and has been coach since just after the 2006 World Cup, winning the Copa America and Confederations Cup.
Brazil have been more entertaining in some recent World Cups than others but have never reached the mesmerising heights of 1982 in terms of the quality of their football.
Although he rarely shows it, Dunga said he had enjoyed coaching the team.
"It seems like a long time since that first game against Norway but it goes quickly," he reminisced.
"You don't have time to appreciate it. I've been here for four years and I want more.
"You put on the Brazil kit and you think how many people would like to be here. You're lucky to be here representing your country and doing what you like the most."
He then reverted to his favourite subject - his testy relationship with the media - by saying that they had an unfair advantage.
"Those guys sit there and knock me for 24 hours and when I make one comment back, I'm the grumpy one and the other guy is nice, fun-loving, happy-friendly."