Brazil coach Dunga blamed a mystery virus for his team’s shock Copa America exit to Paraguay on Saturday as the most successful footballing nation on the planet struggled to digest another tournament setback.  Dunga said as many as 15 members of his squad had been affected by the virus, which he said had disrupted preparations for the quarter-final against the Paraguayans. “I’m not making excuses, but around 15 players had viruses which limited our training,” Dunga said. “Some had headaches, back pain, body aches. Some players felt it more than others and had to reduce training, some players vomited. Today was a game where we needed speed and we didn’t have it,” he added. Dunga’s explanation caused confusion amongst members of his squad, with midfielder Filipe Luis telling reporters he was unaware of any mass illness amongst his team-mates. “I didn’t know anything about that,” the Chelsea player said. “Some of the other guys might have had a problem, but […]

With a third Quarter Final exit in four tournaments, Brazil have had to swallow yet another bitter pill. Their exit this competition around proves more hurtful, as glaring problems often outweigh the handful of positives, under new coach Dunga. Following harrowing defeats to Germany and Netherlands on home soil, Brazilian football’s governing body, proceeded to make rapid and sweeping changes. Former World Cup Winning coach Luis Philipe Scolari was shown the door, and former World Cup Winner Dunga, was restored at the helm of the the Selecao. However, Brazil’s loss should not be analysed in isolation, as it is developed by a context that has long been brewing since Dunga’s take-over. Paraguay’s defeat exposed the flaws in the Selecao setup, that are more systemic, than symptomatic. Brazil need a change in temperament, and not just Tactics Their first game exposed their initial chinks, as an over-dependance or Neymar was obvious from the first whistle. Attacking players would get into promising positions, yet waited for the Barcelona winger […]

When Brazil were dismantled by Germany last year at the World Cup there was a feeling that this was the nadir & things would only get better. But last night after another insipid performance against a work man like Paraguayan side it seemed that the Selecao had sunk to even greater depths. To get beaten by a world class German side who played football from heaven for half an hour is one thing but to just sit back and allow an average Paraguay side to dump you out at the quarter final stage is simply unforgivable. Here are 3 thoughts from the game which ended with Paraguay setting up a semi final with Argentina on Tuesday. This is not Jogo Bonito When one thinks of Brazil thoughts wander to beautiful girls, the party atmosphere on the beaches & most of all football. It is the land which has given us Pele, Garrincha, Socrates, Ronaldo, et al. and goals such as […]

Brazil coach Dunga was at the centre of a racism storm at the Copa America here Friday after remarks in which he likened criticism he has faced to discrimination suffered by people of African descent. In a bizarre outburst on the eve of Brazil’s Copa America quarter-final against Paraguay, the 1994 World Cup-winning captain invoked the issue of racism as he hit out at his critics. The 51-year-old contrasted the current criticism to the pressure he faced during his playing days, when Brazil went several decades without winning either a World Cup or a Copa America. “I had the pressure of 40 years without winning a Copa America, 24 years without winning the World Cup,” Dunga said. “Everything was going badly. I even think I might have African roots, because of all the blows I’ve been dealt. “It’s as if people saw me and said, ‘That one there,’ and started hitting me.” Dunga’s choice of words swiftly drew an avalanche […]