Dunga unfazed as Cruyff turns off Samba Boys

BRAZIL coach Dunga has dismissed Dutch legend Johan Cruyff’s damning indictment of his team ahead of their World Cup quarter-final clash with Holland.

Cruyff insisted he would not pay to watch the current crop of Brazilians, who will continue their bid for a sixth world title at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth this afternoon.

Dunga’s team very much reflects both his personality and the way he played in the midfield engine room, and while the defensive resilience he has instilled may not be to the liking of all observers, he is making no apologies for his approach.

Asked about Cruyff’s remarks, he said: “It’s up to him. Cruyff can pay to watch this game if he wants. There are many games on offer and democracy allows you to make your own choice.

“But I am sure Cruyff is not going to pay for the ticket, so therefore he can watch it if he wants to.

“My grandfather said in his day football was excellent. My father said that, I say that and I am sure my son and my grandson are going to say exactly the same, that in their day the football was very good, that the players could dribble magnificently, they could head magnificently.

“We know world-class players are always outstanding at any time.”

Dunga’s team have safely negotiated their way to the last eight with only Portugal managing to avoid defeat against them as the sides drew 0-0 in the group stages.

They remain favourites to lift the trophy despite the misgivings of their critics, although the manager remains philosophical.

He said: “I have made my own mistakes and, at the end of the day, I often think about what I could have done differently?

“Even when I am correct, there is always another way to look at options.

“I am not actually reading the press any longer because what I read in the morning and what I read at night are two different things.”

Dunga was part of the team which, four years after dumping them out at the quarter-final stage, beat Holland in a dramatic penalty shoot-out to secure a place in the final of the 1998 World Cup, only to eventually lose 3-0 to hosts France.

That proved to be Dunga’s final game for his country, and one which sticks in his memory.

He said: “It was a very emotional game, the ‘98 final. I know we didn’t play as well as we could, but we did give of our best right to the last minute.”

That disappointment is something Dunga will be desperate to avoid in South Africa, and that means every remaining game will be treated as if it were the final itself.

He said: “From now on, each game is the World Cup final. There is no time for recriminations and what has happened beforehand is of no consequence now.

“The World Cup only comes around every four years and the world practically stops to watch.

“I would certainly pay to watch this game.

“Holland have world-class players who play at big clubs in Europe, and we know European football is extremely technical and very beautiful to watch.

“Both teams want to play a good attacking game, both teams will try to score goals because both teams want to win. When two teams of this nature play a game, we can expect a great game of football.”

Dunga, who is without suspended midfielder Ramires, confirmed that Elano will not be involved as he battles to shake off an ankle injury.

However, Felipe Melo has returned to training and should be available.


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