Dunga puts results before style but gets neither

PORT ELIZABETH - Dunga has repeatedly emphasised during his four years in charge of Brazil that victory comes before style but Friday's quarter-final loss to the Netherlands has left his team with neither.

Dunga won the Copa America and Confederations Cup but missed out on the two titles which really mattered to the Brazilian public - the 2008 Olympic Games football and the 2010 World Cup.

He has occasionally shown disdain for the so-called Jogo Bonito (Beautiful Game), saying that the hugely entertaining 1982 World Cup team were "specialists in losing" while Pele's 1970 side looked better in television replays.

Having put all his eggs in the victory basket, he can expect a mauling from the critics similar to the one dished out to Sebastiao Lazaroni, who said he had been made to feel like a criminal after Brazil's second-round elimination in 1990.

Dunga had no previous coaching experience when he was handed the job following Brazil's lacklustre display at the last World Cup but was given the job thanks to his reputation as a gritty, patriotic midfielder.

Having captained Brazil to World Cup victory in 1994, he was seen as the right man to restore a perceived lack of discipline and commitment in the team.

After watching his team disintegrate in the second half on Friday, Dunga - who said it was always known he would quit after South Africa - said that part of his mission had been accomplished.


"The biggest result was that we managed to rescue the honour of playing for Brazil," he told reporters. "You need to see the faces of players now in the dressing-room.

"I'm proud to be in charge of this group, thanks to the way they have behaved."

"We've been away from home for 52 days with no holiday and nobody has complained, there has been no controversy and everything has been transparent."

That is unlikely to be much consolation to his 190 million compatriots who not only expect their team to win but also to put on a show in the process.

Brazil won 41 out of 59 games under Dunga's leadership and lost only six but it was rare for them to dominate a match from start to finish and play the flowing football for which they are known.

Their best performances came away from home in the South American qualifying competition, where the opposition would obligingly come out and attack, leaving spaces at the back for Brazil's lethal counter-attacks.

But playing at home against packed defences, they produced some of the worst performances ever seen from a Brazil side in goalless draws against Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela.

In South Africa, there was something strangely unsatisfying about his team. Heavily dependent on Kaka, who was not fully match fit, for creativity, they looked superb on the ball and solid in defence, but their overall performances were strangely unsatisfying.

They got involved in niggly matches against Ivory Coast, Portugal and the Dutch, but repeatedly blamed their opponents and the referees.

Adrenaline-pumped on the touchline, often having fits of rage when refereeing decisions went against his team, Dunga gave no quarter to the huge Brazilian media corps and knows they will not be in a forgiving mood when he returns home.

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