Football

Dunga: We've banished the past

WELL DONE, GUYS: Brazil coach Dunga applauding his team's showing against Turkey. PHOTO: REUTERS

Brazil have risen from the ashes of the disastrous 7-1 mauling by Germany in the World Cup semi-finals, said new coach Dunga.

The Selecao's 1994 World Cup-winning captain made that declaration after their 4-0 win over Turkey in Istanbul yesterday morning (Singapore time).

It was the Selecao's fifth consecutive win and fifth straight clean sheet since Dunga took over from Luiz Felipe Scolari after the World Cup debacle four months ago.

The Selecao were applauded off the field after their latest win, which came courtesy of a Neymar double, a fine strike from Willian and an own goal from Turkey defender Semih Kaya.

Not surprisingly, Neymar's name was on the home fans' lips throughout the second half.

Said Dunga: "We are glad that we are now being recognised as a good team again," he said.

"It makes us proud to see the fans applauding the Selecao, as they did at the end of the game.

"We are starting to get our self-confidence back. We are getting better with each passing day.

"The bad days are behind us; we have our team spirit back."

Defender David Luiz echoed Dunga's sentiments and hailed Brazil's rediscovered resilience.

Luiz felt the breakaway nature of their 
third goal perfectly illustrated the way in which the new-look Brazil - who blooded three uncapped players in Luiz Adriano, Roberto Firmino and Douglas Costa - have progressed since the World Cup.

"We turned the pressure in our favour," the Paris Saint-Germain player told TV Globo. "I'm happy with how the team performed against a difficult side, so it was a good debut for the new guys.

"That's what we must try to achieve now: To grow in each and every game. So, in general, we're happy with our work.

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"But we must keep our feet on the ground and try to improve in every aspect of our game.

"When you have a goal like this, you're on the right road to becoming stronger."

Neymar, who has now scored six goals in two games for his country, following last month's four-goal feat against Japan at Singapore's National Stadium, couldn't contain his delight.

The Brazil skipper told Globo TV: "I think I'm in the best form of my career though I can't be satisfied.

"I shall keep on working hard to get even better, to keep on helping Barcelona and the 
Brazil national side."

- Wire Services.