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The Brazilian blame game
by Paul Kennedy, July 3rd, 2010 3:24AM

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TAGS:  brazil, world cup

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[REACTION] Brazil coach Dunga confirmed his plans to step down following his team's 2-1 loss to the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. He said Felipe Melo, the game's goat, should not take the blame for the loss, but several former Brazilian stars thought otherwise.

"As the coach," Dunga said, "I think the blame belongs to us all. I take most of the blame and now would be unfair to speak of Felipe Melo. It is not the first time a player is sent off."

Felipe Melo's red card followed what was first given as an own goal -- Brazil had never given up an own goal in the World Cup -- that evened the score in the second half. (FIFA has since credited Wesley Sneijder with a goal on the cross that went off Melo's head into the goal after goalie Julio Cesar missed the ball.)

On Twitter, Ronaldo told Felipe Melo: "Don't take your vacation in Brazil this year."

"Felipe Melo is unreliable," said Falcao, a star on Brazil's 1982 World Cup team. "It was a mistake to even bring him to South Africa."

Dunga will finish with 41 wins, 12 losses and six ties as Brazil coach.

It won the 2007 Copa America and 2009 Confederations Cup but failed to win the hearts of fans and critics.

Before Friday's game, Dutch great Johan Cruyff said he would not pay to watch Brazil.



0 comments
  1. Gil Ramirez
    commented on: July 4, 2010 at 12:24 a.m.
    Extremely unfair. First for Melo. The mistake was all Julio Cesar's. He missed the ball, collided with Melo and took him (Melo) out of position, so the ball touched him and skidded onto goal. Secondly, for Dunga. He made Brazil effective. They did not play the most visually satisfying Football but made them focused on the task at hand, were ruthless and able to come back and win games even when not playing well. The mistake? Yes, not recognizing that Melo needed to come out. That Kaka was not on his day. But heck, not even Brazil can always win. The Dutch were efficient and effective. They deserved it. Brazil has to accept it.

  1. Gil Ramirez
    commented on: July 4, 2010 at 12:28 a.m.
    On the same token, Cruyff should probably consider not paying to see the Dutch play either. They are far from the total football of the 70s and 80s. Efficiency on set pieces and lethality (and treachery) from Robben should not be considered enough tools to call their football great.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: July 4, 2010 at 12:43 p.m.
    Melo's red card was a cardinal sin...he should take the blame for that. Team Brasil lost its composure after the red card and played the last 15 minutes of the match as a bunch of juveniles.

  1. Robert Schaefer
    commented on: July 4, 2010 at 4:39 p.m.
    As a coach of the team, Dunga was 41W-12L-6D while playing in the most competitive division of FIFA. It is ridiculous for people to draw some of the conclusions they are based on this game. While it is true that Dunga emphasized more defense and organization, it is difficult to blame him for that IMO, as he had a lot of success. A World Cup game is not always won by the best team. It is a fickle sport that is often determined by the referee perceptions (or lack thereof), and the chaotic providence of the ball's bounce. Maintaining composure under pressure is a big part of the sport at this level (just ask Zidane!), and Felipe Melo was not the only Brazilian to act foolishly and demonstrate poor game management. The goal was Julio Ceasar's issue, not FM's. When a keeper comes off the line and goes in for the ball, it is his job to win it, even if he has to knock down a team mate to do so. Communication for this is also the keeper's responsibility. Too bad for Dunga. I am sure that no matter who the coach is, Brazil will be massively favored to win the very next competition she enters, not to mention being the obvious #1 seed for the 2014 WC in it's home country.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: July 4, 2010 at 5:05 p.m.
    BTW, folks, did you know that former greats like Cruyff, Pele, Beckenbauer, et. al. are issued "free passes" all the time. When I worked the WC USA 94 in the credentialing section, most of former greats had virtual free access not only to games but almost anywhere in the stadia. But, Cruyff's remark was well taken and used as a slap at the Brasilian face for "archiving" the "jogo bonito!"

  1. Paul Sheirich
    commented on: July 5, 2010 at 2:09 a.m.
    I agree with all the comments above. As for the blame game . . . let me play! Blame Cesar, not Melo for the goal. Blame Melo for getting tossed for stupid behavior. Blame half the players on the field for not being able to keep their heads under the pressure of being the #1 seed running behind, and unable to break down the Dutch defense. Blame Dunga for loosing his cool & infecting his team with his loss of poise. Blame the the Dutch for getting the job done, and winning the match. Blame both teams for extraordinary amount of flopping and complaining. Blame the referee for not giving in to the above!

  1. Raveen Rama
    commented on: July 5, 2010 at 4 a.m.
    Cruyff's remark about the play of Brasil was all psychological. He wanted to put it into the heads of the Brasil players much like Phil Jackson does to the other teams. Unfortunately, the Brazilian players were not strong minded!

  1. Bret Newman
    commented on: July 9, 2010 at 6:19 p.m.
    I just want to leave a comment about how good that ref is. I think he is from Japan, but I think he is the best referee in the tournament. Even before he refereed this difficult game, I've noticed how exceptional he is. I find him to be extremely fair. I noticed how the commentators from this game tried to treat him like some low level referee, but to really no avail. Probably just because he is not a European ref.


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