I never expected that Jesus-Loves-Me boy Kaka would be sent off. Well, let's be honest that the Ivorian player should get an Oscar for faking an elbow in the face.
However, the problem is now how to replace the midfielder maestro who was finally playing almost like in 2007 when he was elected the best footballer of the world.
My answer is simple: Dunga can't replace him.
There's no other attacking midfielder on the team with the ability to create plays, run through the middle, deliver perfect passes and take long-range shots.
Dunga's options for the middle are Ramires, Josué, Kleberson, and Julio Baptista. None of these players, despite being talented, can take on Kaka's role. So, what could be in Dunga's mind?
Well, there are five possibilities I can think of:
He can try bringing Gilberto to play on the left side of the midfield, just as he plays for his club Cruzeiro.
This option could give Robinho more support and freedom to move around in the final third. The only issue here is that Gilberto didn't have time to build a good team chemistry with the other players in the starting lineup.
There are a lot of people who do not like Julio Baptista's football. I personally believe he has great moments, but at times he seems nowhere to be found on the pitch. It's a risk, but if there's a good time to take risks it's now that Brazil has already secured a spot in the round of 16.
Baptista has already replaced Kaka in other opportunities even wearing the No. 10 jersey. That's the option I believe Dunga will use.
Starting with the versatile Benfica midfielder might seem like building a defensive strategy, but it could give Robinho and Elano a lot more freedom.
They could both move up the field and play much closer to Luis Fabiano. A good option if Dunga's willing to do some experimentation.
He's been replacing Elano in the recent matches, but I don't think it would be a problem for the Barcelona winger to play on the left side.
He's got the skills and the power to cut to the middle and blast some shots on goal. Not my favorite option, but it's an option regardless.
Here the option is to have a more offensive team to test the suspect Portugal defense.
Robinho would be the third man on the attack who would also step back to get the ball in the middle, and Elano would stay put a little more, helping Gilberto Silva and Felipe Melo.
I don't think Dunga will go for it but I would. Just to have numbers up front and give Portugal's back line something to worry about.
What about you? How would you replace Kaka?