Hard-hitting Dunga comes close to tears

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil coach Dunga, usually seen as a tough, uncompromising figure, touched on a personal drama and came close to tears in a television interview on Monday.

Dunga, a hard-tackling former midfielder who snarled his way through three World Cups, became emotional when he was asked about the pressures involved in his job, one of the sport's toughest.

The coach, who has been heavily-criticised since taking over as coach in 2006, used the example of his parents to put the situation into perspective.

"Nobody suffers more pressure than my mother," said Dunga in the programme Painel RBS.

"My father has had Alzheimer's for eight years and she's always by his side, she has not at any moment weakened, so I'm not going to be the one who becomes weak.

"People can say what they want, there's nothing worse than that," added the spiky-haired coach, holding back tears.

Dunga, who had no top-level coaching experience before taking the national job, has been widely accused of using a lacklustre playing style, despite steering Brazil to the Copa America title in 2007.

Although Brazil are second in the South American World Cup qualifying group, they are six points adrift of leaders Paraguay and have been held 0-0 in their last three home games.

"The qualifiers are tougher than the World Cup," said Dunga. "When you play away to Peru, Ecuador and Chile, they whole country is united to play against Brazil. And when we play in Brazil, there are restrictions, problems and controversies.

"This creates an atmosphere which makes things a little difficult.

"The players who come from Europe have trouble in adapting to the time difference and have to make long journeys. When we have 15 days to train, the standard will be different."

Dunga added that Brazil's European-based players also wanted to be popular in their homeland.

"They loved us in Europe but this wasn't enough for us," he said referring to his playing days.

"We want to have the same respect and affection in our own country because we are going to live here, we want to be recognised here in our country."