Manager : Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri, more commonly known as Dunga
Date of Birth : 31 October 1963 – age 46.
Place of Birth : Ijui, Brazil
Notable International Honours: Copa América 2007; FIFA Confederations Cup 2009.
As a player, Dunga was the most "un-Brazilian" of Brazilian players. There were no silky samba skills, no Brazilian magic, or South American flamboyance. What there was, though, was a ferocious tackle, untamed aggression, and ‘a never say die’ attitude.
He was the rock of the Brazilian teams that finally understood that the modern game had evolved and, if they were to remain a powerhouse of world football, they to had to evolve. His captaincy and commanding performances were the linchpin of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup triumph in the USA.
After retirement from football in 2000, Dunga was named as the new coach of Brazil in 2006, with no previous managerial experience whatsoever. This posed an immediate problem as he possessed neither a coaching nor a physical education professional license and, hence, was breaking his country’s employment laws!
His coaching ethics and principles were those that he had successfully employed as a player. However, although Brazilians did not mind if one player played in an ‘un-Brazilian’ manner, for their national team to adopt such tactics was almost blasphemous.
With his team struggling to find its feet within his more disciplined regime, Dunga faced scathing criticism from all walks of Brazilian life. Even the nation’s president waded in with comments of the ex-captain’s overly exacting tactics that was stifling the creative players.
But Dunga was not to be swayed and stuck to his guns and, slowly but surely, his new look Brazil began to reflect not only his regimented style, but also their beloved samba style football.
In 2007, Dunga led his regimented samba stars to the final of the Copa América, where they hammered arch rivals Argentina 3-0 and, slowly, the quiet Brazilian was finding his way into the football obsessed population’s hearts.
The 2009 Confederations Cup held in South Africa once again showed how Dunga’s revolution had evolved further. In the group stages, they won all three matches, scoring ten goals and conceding only three. In the semi-finals, they eased past hosts South Africa, 1-0 and won the final against a spirited USA, 3-2.
Dunga's formations usually revolve around a lone striker supported by three gifted midfielders. The two holding midfielders are the key to his style and provide the foil for attacking fullbacks, allowing the team to be solid as well as creative.
Ronaldinho and Adriano are notable absentees from his 2010 squad, once again illustrating that Dunga is not afraid to make sweeping changes when he feels they are required.
With the likes of Kaká, Luis Fabiano, Robinho, Danny Alves, Lucio, and Maicon, Brazil will once again be one of the firm favourites to lift the World Cup. They have the added advantage of having played in South Africa only last year when winning the Confederation Cup.
If Brazil do once again become world champions, it will be as a result of the discipline that Dunga has instilled into their game and continues to incorporate into their style, without snuffing out the renowned Brazilian flamboyance.