RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil coach Dunga is
coming under increasing pressure to include Santos youngsters
Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso in his World Cup squad after
the pair's electrifying performances for Santos this season.
With Brazil heavily dependent on out-of-form Kaka for
creativity, many feel the pair should be given a chance by
Dunga after scoring 10 goals apiece in helping Santos top the
Forward Neymar, 18, has already been likened to Robinho
thanks to his dribbling and was even reprimanded for
show-boating by Corinthians forward Ronaldo after his side were
on the wrong end of his skills.
But it is left-footed midfielder Paulo Henrique - known
additionally as Ganso (Goose) because of his lanky build - who
has really caught the eye, not least because he plays in the
creative midfield role Brazil have found increasingly difficult
The 20-year-old's delicately lobbed goal against Monte Azul
last month had the air of former World Cup captain Socrates
Although Dunga's Brazil are lethal on the counter-attack,
they have struggled to break down teams who pack their defences
as shown by the dire 0-0 draws at home to Bolivia, Colombia and
Venezuela in World Cup qualifiers.
"The national team doesn't have a creative midfielder, just
Kaka," said newspaper columnist Alberto Helena Junior in a
Brazil's 1970 World Cup captain Carlos Alberto Torres told
the same programme: "I would take both of them, without any
fear. They both know how to play football. The national team is
the place for the best, you have to take them.
However, Pele pointed out that the two have shone only in
the Paulista championship, a season-opening contest of a
generally weak standard.
"This Santos team has never played a South American side,
they have never had to play in Argentina or Uruguay or
Paraguay, and they haven't played in Europe," he said.
type of experience is important for a World Cup and they
haven't had it."
Carlos Alberto Parreira, who led Brazil to World Cup
victory in 1994 and a disappointing quarter-final exit in 2006,
said there was not enough time to test them internationally.
"Neymar and Ganso have great potential, but Dunga is the
one who knows the right moment to pick them," the current South
Africa coach told reporters in Brazil where his team have been
"It's awkward for a coach to take a player to the World Cup
without having tested him. Without a test, you don't know how a
player will respond on the pitch."
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