PORT ELIZABETH - The word "saudade" is one
of the most distinctive and frequently used in the Portuguese
language, a barely translatable term used to describe deep
longing for something or someone that is gone.
It is a sentiment which few will be feeling for Brazil's
2010 World Cup team.
The five-times champions were due to head home on Saturday
evening and are almost certain to receive a mauling from the
media, already at loggerheads at coach Dunga over his team's
perceived lack of style and flair, after their quarter-final
exit at the hands of Netherlands.
Former Brazil striker Ronaldo suggested that Felipe Melo,
cast as the villain after an own goal and sending-off in
Friday's game, should keep a low profile in the next few weeks.
"Felipe Melo should not spend his holiday in Brazil," he
wrote on his Twitter page. "The boys fought, were dignified and
strong. Unfortunately we all lost."
Despite being one of the most technically gifted teams at
the World Cup, Dunga's team put work rate, tactics and
patriotism above talent and showed only isolated flashes of
They brought only four forwards and two creative midfielders
to South Africa, were not prepared to take risks and then
criticised their opponents for "not wanting to play".
Some of the selections were inexplicable, such as the
inclusion of former Manchester United midfielder Kleberson at
the expense of Ronaldinho or Santos youngster Paulo Henrique
The only source of midfield inspiration was Kaka, who was
still regaining full fitness after a difficult debut season with
Inspired by the rantings of coach Dunga on the touchline,
they harassed referees, received two red cards in five games and
their matches against Ivory Coast, Portugal and Netherlands were
three of the most niggly at the World Cup.
Dunga placed the emphasis firmly on efficiency and tactical
discipline but, instead of that, Brazil fell to pieces in the
second half against the Dutch after conceding an equaliser out
of the blue shortly after the break.
Playing uninspiring football and failing to win the World
Cup is the worst possible combination in the eyes of the
Brazilian public and Dunga's side is likely to join the 1966 and
1990 teams in being considered the worst the country has
Carlos Alberto Torres, captain of Brazil's winning 1970
World Cup team, said Dunga had paid the price for blind loyalty
to the team which won the 2007 Copa America and the
Confederations Cup last year.
"He went on about this business of having a united, closed
group," Carlos Alberto told Reuters. "That's nonsense. The
national team is for the best.
"Because of this philosophy, he left out the Santos lads,
who are in great form, and experienced players, who you always
need in a Cup."
Dunga made it clear after Friday's stunning defeat that his
four-year cycle had ended, leaving Brazil to search for his
The early speculation had 2002 World Cup winning coach Luiz
Felipe Scolari among the favourites. It will need a brave man to
take on the job as, with Brazil hosting the competition, the
pressure will be greater than ever.
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