On Tuesday Brazil will announce the new manager of their national team.
According to reports, we have a pretty good idea who it may be. Remember Carlos Dunga? Yeah, how could you forgot that warrior in the engine room from the great Brazilian sides of the 1990’s.
Dunga, 50, is expected to be appointed manager of the Selecao for the second-time in his career, after the former World Cup winning skipper led Brazil to glory in 1994. He previously managed the national team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, while also leading his nation to glory in the 2007 Copa America and the 2009 Confederations Cup.
The former holding midfielder was fired first time around following Brazil’s exit at the quarterfinal stage of that tournament four years ago, but now it seems as though the Brazilian football confederations will turn to yet another former boss to renew the hopes and dreams of a nation.
No official confirmation has arrived from the CBF, but Dunga is expected to replace Luis Felipe Scolari after he resigned following Brazil’s 2014 World Cup campaign which saw them finish fourth but humiliated at the semifinal stage following a 7-1 thumping by Germany.
Dunga was fairly successful in his first spell in charge of Brazil, winning 42, drawing 12 and losing six of his 60 games in charge from 2006-10. Brazil were knocked out by the Netherlands 2-1 in the last eight, as a Dutch side in their prime came back after Robinho gave Dunga’s men the lead. Back in 2010 he had the likes of Kaka, Luis Fabiano and Gilberto Silva leading his squad plus plenty of today’s current national team players such as Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, Julio Cesar and Ramires were also in the fold.
Since then Dunga has coached Brazilian side Internacional for over a year but has been out of a job since he was fired in October 2013.
If Dunga is given the job for the second time in his managerial career, can he turn the Selecao around and turn them into a global force once again?
Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.
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Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.
Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:
“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”
That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”
[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]
There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?
Is it just me, or does the press really only ever get noteworthy quotes from players during international breaks?
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I suppose it’s not surprising, given Premier League players get away from the mean ole British press, go back to their respective homelands and speak with journalists they’ve likely known since their early playing days, thus feel more comfortable opening up about key issues.
Anyway, today we have Olivier Giroud essentially calling himself out for having lost the starting striker’s job at Arsenal because he’s been outplayed of late by Theo Walcott. As discussed before, this is bad news for Giroud because he’s now falling down the depth chart for France with next summer’s European Championship on the horizon.
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Giroud, on losing his place at Arsenal — quotes from the Guardian:
“At Arsenal, I am in competition with Theo for the striker position. But he is doing well at the moment, so there is no reason to change.
“Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arsenal, I have never experienced a situation like this, I have often played from the start. I need to take positives and to harden myself mentally. It is something new for me.
“I was in [Walcott’s] place in previous seasons at Arsenal. I imagine what he must have been thinking. But I feel that the coach believes in me.”
Giroud goes on to cast into doubt his own confidence, stating in very certain terms he needs “to believe more in [his] abilities.” Giroud’s always come across as a bit of an existentialist, but it’s always strange to hear players publicly call themselves out — particularly their confidence — as if that’s not going to increase the pressure currently weighing down on them.
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The next eight months are going to be monumentally important in Giroud’s career, as the 29-year-old attempts to prove he’s worth keeping around at Arsenal and deserving of a place in the national team squad for next summer’s EUROs, which are to be played in France.