Football

Dunga wants players to fight for their places

TAKE A BOW: So far, Dunga (above) looks the right man to rebuild Brazil. PHOTO: JEREMY LEE / ACTION IMAGES

His team were in complete control, scored four goals and walked off to a standing ovation at the National Stadium after teaching Japan a football lesson. 

Brazil ran out deserved 4-0 winners last night, but Dunga was not beaming when he walked into the post-match press conference.

In fact, he hardly smiled. 

The Brazil coach knows the road to redemption for the Selecao is a long one as he tries to lift the gloom over a nation that was hurt so badly by the 7-1 semi-final defeat by Germany at the World Cup. 

"Not only Neymar, the whole team also did very well," said Dunga. 

"The quality of the pitch was bad, but we had to play anyway and, of course, if we had better conditions, we could have put on a more beautiful spectacle. 

"But we are looking to the future, and we haven't decided what we are going to do, yet." 

Brazil will face Turkey and Austria next month, and Dunga is already warning players not to take their places for granted, despite beating Argentina 2-0 and now Japan 4-0.  

CLASH

With the Austria game clashing with domestic league fixtures in Brazil, he may be forced to give others a chance.  

"I like what all the players did today, (but I also) like to try different things," said the 1994 World Cup-winning Brazil captain. 

"In Brazil, empty seats in the national team will be taken up by other players who will not want to give up that seat."

Dunga said that he would keep an open mind about the strategies of deployment of his lieutenants in the battlefield.

He started with a strong attacking line-up last night, with Chelsea duo Oscar and Willian playing alongside Neymar and Diego Tardelli.

In the second half, he threw on the likes of veterans Robinho, Kaka and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho. 

He said: "If we need to repeat (this strategy), we will, but we will also put in new ideas."


"Not only Neymar, the whole team also did very well. The quality of the pitch was bad, but we had to play anyway and, of course, if we had better conditions, we could have put on a more beautiful spectacle." 

- Brazil coach Dunga