Brazil

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPASTIMES -

BRAZIL rely on an un­writ­ten motto – drive, dis­ci­pline and aus­ter­ity – to seek in South Africa 2010 their longed-for sixth World Cup ti­tle.

Con­firm­ing Brazil’s sta­tus as the cur­rent leader of global foot­ball re­mains a pend­ing task for coach Car­los Dunga, who took over com­mand of the “verdea­marela” amid great scep­ti­cism af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing cam­paign at the 2006 World Cup.

Af­ter a hes­i­tant start, they re­cov­ered to end the South Amer­i­can qual­i­fiers at the top of the ta­ble, and ob­tained one of the best streaks of re­sults in Brazil’s tri­umphant foot­ball his­tory.

The team that is led on the pitch by Real Madrid’s Kaka (be­low) is cur­rently a solid group that stands by the coach. Over the past three years, Dunga tried to change the spirit of the team. With the same strength he showed as a de­fen­sive mid­fielder on the pitch, Dunga built a squad in which no one – not even su­per­star Kaka – has priv­i­leges.

Dunga’s Brazil is a side that is more bal­anced than bril­liant. They do not have in their at­tack­ing line the qual­ity of the “triple R” (Ron­aldo, Ri­valdo and Ronald­inho) that won the 2002 World Cup. But Kaka, Robinho and Luis Fabi­ano have proved their ef­fi­ciency: Brazil scored 33 goals in 18 qual­i­fy­ing games. More­over, un­like in ear­lier edi­tions of the World Cup, the de­fence is no longer a weak point for Brazil. They only let in 11 goals in the qual­i­fiers – half of the goals that sec­ond-placed Chile let in.

The only area that is not yet wellde­fined is the mid­field, where only Kaka is guar­an­teed a place.

The Star: Kaka, 27, is un­doubt­edly a su­per­star of global foot­ball, al­though his quiet ways and the fact that he is a de­vout evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tian give him a lower pro­file than most. The Brasilia-born play­maker – awarded the Bal­lon d’Or and the FIFA Player of the Year Award in 2007 – won the Scud­etto in 2004 and the Cham­pi­ons League in 2007 with AC Mi­lan. He was also a crowd favourite, and re­jected an ex­pen­sive move to Manch­ester City in Jan­uary 2009.

Months later, how­ever, he agreed to a move to Real Madrid, based on the fact that Mi­lan needed the cash.

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