Being the manager of Brazil is a thankless job.
Any losses draws ire and even when you win, it’s often not good enough because you’re expected to do so with flair.
What the people of Brazil may not understand is the fact that world football is only truly becoming the global game it’s always been viewed as.
Football has long been the most popular sport in the world, but one traditionally dominated by a handful of behemoths from Europe and South America, the only continents to ever produce a World Cup champion. Even the Copa Libertadores and UEFA Champions League are the pinnacle of club football.
But recent years has seen a shrinking gap between the upper and lower echelons of world football, as evidenced by the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Italy and France exited the competition in the first round; USA, South Korea, and Japan all made it to the Round of 16; USA even topped Group C over England; Switzerland beat Spain; and Ghana, who is competing in only their second World Cup ever, may become the first African team to ever reach the semifinals.
“Jogo bonito” was born because Brazil was far superior to the rest of the world. They’re still among the best, but that gap is nowhere near as substantial as it once was. How else would the United States have managed to finish the first half of the 2009 Confederations Cup final up 2-0?
Dunga lost to a quality team who might very well win the 2010 World Cup. Does that deserve the sack? No, but will he get it anyway?
Sadly, the Magic 8 Ball says, “As I see it, yes.”