Juninho: Kaka and Robinho will be vital

Former Brazil international Juninho Pernambucano says veterans Kaka and Robinho will be vital as Brazil continue their post-World Cup revival.

Brazil are entering a new phase in international football, after the debacle of the 2014 FIFA World Cup where a Luiz Felipe Scolari led Selecao crashed and burned in front of the entire nation in a much talked, 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany.

Since then, the Brazilian Football Confederation has installed Dunga as head coach, after a previous stint from 2006-2010. 

Former Lyon playmaker Juninho Pernambucano, known for his outrageous accuracy with free kicks, spoke exclusively to FourFourTwo and revealed that Dunga has a massive task at hand to rebuild the Brazilian national side but has already showed signs that he is on the right path.

“The first three games have been good for him, three wins in three games is a fantastic start,” said the midfielder who won seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles with Olympique Lyonnais.

“He is building a new squad with newer players and I think this [period] is very important for the future of Brazil.”

Left out of the World Cup squad by Luiz Felipe Scolari, Kaka and Robinho have found a second coming under Dunga and Juninho believes that the former AC Milan duo are vital in the rebuilding process.

“Kaka and Robinho are very experienced and playing them together with young players [gives] a better balance and combination for the team,” he said.

“This is something that we did not see in the World Cup.”

Juninho Pernambucano won 40 caps for Brazil. Photo: Weixiang Lim

The 2005 Confederations Cup winner with Brazil also had special praise for his former teammate Kaka.

“For me, Kaka is coming back to the team is deserved and also he is really important for the team at this moment,” he said.

“Because we need more experience, after the last World Cup, we need to get back the Brazilians on our side and he will help a lot.

“Kaka will help the younger Brazilian players. I like Kaka a lot and I feel he can still make a big impact in the team because his mentality is super.”

Brazil head into the fourth match since Dunga’s appointment, aiming to make it four out of four victories as they face Japan in Singapore’s National Stadium, which is expected to be watched by a sold-out crowd of 55,000 and Juninho thinks the current period is critical for Brazilian football.

“Now, we need the time to prepare for the Copa America and the next World Cup,” he said.

“Everyone in Brazil was questioning how we could lose like that (7-1) but we need to move on from that.”

“I think what Dunga is doing now by mixing younger players and older players is good and I hope we will be Number 1 again.”