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Why Brazil Failed in the 2010 FIFA World Cup

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 02:  Carlos Dunga head coach of Brazil sits on the bench with coaching staff ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Quarter Final match between Netherlands and Brazil at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on July 2, 2010 in Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Samuel DieudonneCorrespondent IJuly 16, 2010

Many of you will claim you saw this coming a mile away. Others like me were totally caught off guard by it, but when all was said and done in South Africa after Spain's victory over Holland, Dunga's Selecao were already home watching behind a T.V screen like the rest of the world. What went wrong? Well, I shall analyze.

I believe Carlos Dunga's stubborness, in many ways, contributed to this embarrassment. Now I know we must not fully place the blame on one man, but his choices leading up to this World Cup were very controversial and he listened to no one. I was at first a huge advocate of his because during his three years in charge before the festivities began in South Africa, the man brought a sense of stability and urgency to the team that I had never witnessed before as a Selecao fan, winning us the Copa America in 2007, Confederations Cup last year.

However, he totally threw out the notion of "Samba" football and "Jogo Bonito" in the process.

We all disregarded that because Dunga's new scheme was winning us games. For the first time Brazil had a better defence than it's attack, not to mention it played with two defensive midfielders at all times. This team would no longer pass the ball around it's opponent in an oozing fashion to win games.

Instead it became an unstoppable counterattacking machine built to suit the likes of physical beasts such as Maicon, Lucio, Felipe Melo and even the striker Luis Fabiano. Kaka would become the main catalyst because of his speed. There was no longer place for flair; players like Alexandre Pato, Ganso, Ronaldinho and Neymar, all fan favorites, would not find room when the final 23 were named, but inexplicablym guys like Grafite, and Kleberson did.

Now alarm bells were ringing a little bit so Dunga made the press out to be his No. 1 enemy, and his character started to change a little on the sideline. It couldn't be more evident when he lost his composure during the Holland game.

We went out 2-1 in a game in which we led going into halftime. That had never happened to Brazil before in a World Cup game but somehow Dunga made it happen with the European type of squad he had gotten the Selecao to become. It was only fitting that one of the players he admired the most had a hand in both of the Dutch, goals then proceeded to stomp on Robben and exit the game in shame. As time wounded down there was no real player on the bench that could grab the game by the scruff of it's neck, Robinho tried his absolute best, Kaka was out of form pretty much the story during the whole cup. Fabiano's name was hardly ever mentioned.

The inevitble had happened finally Dunga's Brazil were exposed, but all realistic fans knew it would happen sooner or later. Bert van Marwijk read us perfectly and had the perfect game plan and succeeded even though it was ugly.

As the final whistle blew and the camera crew focused on the young Brazil fan who was crying in the stands, my heart wrenched, but to him I say we will bounce back in 2014 in our own backyard.

The lion sleeps but it will awaken soon. Hopefully it roars back to it's Samba roots!

 

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