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Dunga has fond memories of facing Dutch

02/07/2010 09:46:28 AM Comments (0)

Brazil coach Dunga has plenty of good memories to draw on ahead of his team's match against the Netherlands in the World Cup quarterfinals on Friday.

A former defensive midfielder, Dunga started for Brazil the last two times the teams played in football's biggest showcase. And both times he came out victorious with Brazil - in a penalty shootout in the 1998 semifinals in France and a 3-2 win in the 1994 quarterfinals in the United States.

The match in 1998 in Marseille was extra special for Dunga, marking one of his last appearances with the Brazilian national team as a player. He scored the fourth penalty for Brazil in the 4-2 shootout victory, saying it was a key moment in his career.

"I had to reconfirm everything that had happened in 1994," Dunga said. "If I missed, people would have said that I was lucky in 1994. It was at the end of a highly emotional match, after 90 minutes and extra time."

Dunga captained Brazil to the world title in 1994 and also scored a penalty in the shootout against Italy in the final. But fans still criticised him for being the personification of a Brazilian generation marked by a boring style of play. Dunga was on the team that had been eliminated by Argentina in the second round of the 1990 World Cup in Italy, and the period thereafter was negatively known as the Dunga era.

"It was one of my last matches with the national team," Dunga said of the 1998 semifinal. "The match had adrenaline until the very end. It was a great match to watch and to be a part of."

Brazil eventually lost the 1998 final to France 3-0 at Stade de France, keeping Dunga from winning a second consecutive world title.

"We didn't win the title, but I think it's a good result when you play in two World Cups and you win one and finish second in the other," Dunga said.

The coach said the matches against the Dutch are always special because of the teams' offensive style. Dunga had said the Netherlands is one of the few European teams which play similar to the South American nations, always trying to attack.

"They are always pretty matches," the 46-year-old coach said. "The teams always try to play. The players have quality, they do what we all like to see, try to dribble, take chances, use their creativity. They always go for the goal and for the victory. When two teams play like that the show is good."

Dunga also helped Brazil win the 1989 and 1997 Copa Americas, as well as the 1997 Confederations Cup. He played for Brazilian club Internacional and later with Fiorentina and Stuttgart.

He took over the national team after Brazil was eliminated by France in the quarterfinals of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, replacing Carlos Alberto Parreira. Dunga revamped the team, leaving out stars such as Ronaldinho, Adriano and Ronaldo and introducing players known for their hard work and discipline.

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