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Arnaldo Branco

Arnaldo Branco

Guest Blog: Why Dunga’s appointment sets alarm bells ringing

Tags: Brazil, Sony Xperia


Dunga’s appointment as Brazil boss for a second time reminds me of one of those politician’s posters that says ‘change’ under the picture of an 80-year-old guy!

Dunga was a solid player, and as a coach, well, he’s got the numbers on his side. Yes, he lost a World Cup quarter-final but what the heck – after the 7-1 hammering by Germany our notion of what really is a poor performance in a World Cup is a bit scrambled.

I like the guy. He survived a lynch mob of sports journalists twice. Blamed for our failure in 1990, he got his revenge in 1994 (ask a Portuguese-speaking friend what he’s shouting while holding the trophy) and at the Copa America in 2007. Now he’s got another chance, only fair.

But it’s not about Dunga, it’s about what his appointment stands for, which is this: Nothing is going to change in Brazilian football any time soon.

Picking a coach who has already had his chance, and who represents our glorious past, is the way the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) chooses to say: “We’ve got five world titles, we’re not going to change a winning tradition because of a six-minute panic attack.” Yes, that’s how they see what happened on July 8 (this month, it feels like ages ago). As if we had a real chance against the Germans if we had taken some time to pull ourselves together.

And the people in CBF have the nerve to call it restoration. But why should they change anything? It’s like a family business with relatives exchanging jobs all over the place. It has a healthy monopoly with no need to improve the product – Brazilian football, once the pride of a nation – if the profits keep coming.

If we – as unsatisfied customers of their dysfunctional product – don’t do something about it, Brazil will start to look like a sleeping giant with our five world titles, snoozing while everybody surpasses us.

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