June 30 2006
Interview with Dunga: "Brazil can do better"
30/06/2006 - Dunga, captain of the Brazilian squad which lifted the 1994 World Cup title and a committed FIFA/SOS ambassador, this week teamed up with former Mexican football star Hugo Sanchez to visit the SOS Children's Village in Ammersee and play football with the children there. During this visit SOS Children's Villages made a special interview.
Dunga, what made you decide to become a FIFA/SOS ambassador?
Dunga: As a footballer I gained riches, fame, many opportunities and I travelled the world. I wanted to give something back and enable others to have opportunities in their lives. Back home in Brazil I have several charitable projects, for example a cancer hospital, so working with SOS Children's Villages was a natural extension of this work and enabled me to help other people have a better chance in life.
How do you see the World Cup supporting vulnerable children?
Dunga: Politics, race, religion - none of them matter at the World Cup. It's a very special event and people from all over the world come together. In four years' time in South Africa, there will be an incredible improvement in the infrastructure, thanks to the World Cup. The work that SOS Children' Villages is doing through the 6 villages for 2006 campaign is helping to raise awareness, so that more can be gained from the World Cup.
What do you think of the performance of the Brazilian team so far?
Dunga: The Brazilian team is not playing to their maximum but are only giving the amount needed to win. Brazil has great players with a lot of talent - they can all do better both as individuals and as a team. I think they have a good chance of becoming six-time winners but nothing is ever certain. I was part of the victorious 1994 World Cup winning team and the 1998 Brazil team. So as you can see, favourites don't always win. Many Brazilian players work outside of Brazil, so when they come together they pool all of their strengths, in contrast, for example to the England team. Most of the English players play in England, so they never learn about other styles of play or gain new strengths.
What are your thoughts on the quarterfinal match Brazil vs. France?
Dunga: France had a lot of problems getting through to the knockout stage but they have great players with a lot of talent and a lot of experience. France is a team which can grow and improve when it faces difficulties, and this makes them very strong and very united. It's going to be a difficult match for Brazil and a very good match in terms of quality. But Brazil also has a tendency to improve its game in accordance to its opponent and can also play better when needed.
In your opinion, who are the favourites to win the World Cup?
Dunga: The favourites are as always the big teams, those with a lot of football tradition. I don't think there will be any surprises. In a World Cup a team has to play to win and take initiative and control the game - those who don't end up losing such as Switzerland, Ecuador and Australia. On the other hand teams like Germany, Italy, Brazil and England, won without extra time, while Portugal had little difficulties even when they were a player down. In a World Cup there are never many goal opportunities. The big teams and those who are favourites for the title are those who know how to use their chances, for example, Argentina had three goal chances in their first match and the ball was in the goal all three times.