Brazil coach Dunga on Tuesday unveiled a squad shorn through injury of Chelsea’s Oscar for the Copa America in Chile as the five-times world champions look to return to winning ways after last year’s World Cup failure.
Having succeeded Luiz Felipe Scolari after the World Cup 10 months ago, Dunga is out to repair the image of a team whose morale was shattered by their semi-final loss to Germany.
The 7-1 humiliation in Belo Horizonte left the nation of 202 million aghast as the Selecao failed to add an expected sixth world crown on home soil, revisiting the heartache of their 1950 final defeat in Rio to Uruguay.
After those twin reverses Brazil now must rebuild far from the madding home crowds and under Dunga have a man with ample experience both on the pitch and in the dugout to lead them.
Despite the loss of Oscar, replaced by Poprto’s Casemiro, five of those selected play in the English top flight.
Dunga’s functionalism means he has still to win over the public despite eight friendly successes in as many outings since returning to the helm.
As well as skippering the team to World Cup glory in 1994, the 51-year-old Dunga, who won 91 caps during a career which took him to Italy, Germany and Japan, led the national side to the 1997 Copa title.
He also masterminded a Confederations Cup success in South Africa but the World Cup the following year brought a quarter-final loss to the Netherlands and the sack.
Brazil might have been hosting the June 11-July 4 South American tournament to which Mexico are also invited, along with Jamaica.
But they elected to pass the baton to Chile given Brazil hosted the Confederations Cup in 2013 and last year’s World Cup and with the country also welcoming South America’s first ever Olympics next year.
Instead, the Selecao will host the continental championship in 2019.
Not hosting on this occasion is a welcome chance to take the pressure off as Dunga reconstructs a side which kicks off against Peru on June 14 before facing Colombia and Venezuela.
Dunga said in blending up and coming home-based players with seasoned stars who ply their trade in Europe he was seeking to ensure the squad do not lack for figures steeped in values of responsibility, experience and tactical awareness.
Of former Manchester City forward Robinho, who has been on a hot streak of form since returning to Santos from AC Milan to land a state title, Dunga said: “He’s been playing really well with Santos.”
Regarding Oscar, Dunga said the Chelsea man would target the World Cup qualifiers instead.
“It is better he be prepared for those games,” Dunga explained.
Hosts Chile will open the tournament, taking on Ecuador in Santiago’s Estadio Nacional.
Jefferson (Botafogo), Diego Alves (Valencia/ITA), Marcelo Grohe (Gremio)
David Luiz (PSG/FRA), Marquinhos (PSG/FRA), Thiago Silva (PSG/FRA), Miranda (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Fabinho (Monaco/FRA), Marcelo (Real Madrid (ESP), Filipe Luís (Chelsea/ENG), Danilo (Porto/POR).
Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg/GER), Fernandinho (Manchester City/ENG), Elias (Corinthians), Souza (Sao Paulo), Everton Ribeiro (Al Ahil/UAE), Douglas Costa (Shakhtar Donetsk/UKR), Willian (Chelsea/ENG), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpoool/ENG)
Neymar (Barcelona/ESP), Diego Tardelli (Shandong/CHN), Robinho (Santos), Firmino (Hoffenheim)
– Agence France-Presse