This time there were no drums nor sounds of a Brazilian samba as the five-time world champions, Brazil made a subdued entrance on to South African soil ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ which starts on 11 June.
“It’s a joy to be in a World Cup and to be here in South Africa. Most importantly, the players feel the same way,” said Dunga. “As we draw nearer to our first match, I’m sure some of the guys will be a bit anxious, but right now, we are just happy to be here.”
Admittedly, Brazil will feel like they have an inside lane having competed in South Africa before when they embarked on a successful 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup where they beat USA 3-2 in the final.
However, Dunga is well aware that the 32-team event is different both in magnitude and grandeur.
“We know what we are likely to encounter here. We experienced the same conditions during the Confederations Cup last year,” he continued. “We are here to compete for the World Cup, we know that our responsibility is to do well in this tournament. We are very motivated to do well and to fulfil our objectives.”
A Seleção’s star-studded squad will play a number of warm-up matches in South Africa before the tournament. Boasting a galaxy of stars, Brazil are have been listed among the tournament favourites, but Dunga said it was important for his team to concentrate on the FIFA World Cup and not to be bothered by what is being written about them.
“We’ve faced a lot of criticism, but the spirit of joy and desire to play in the national team is key,” he said. “We all want to win and do well for Brazil.”
Brazil’s will launch their bid to win the FIFA World Cup trophy, which they last won in 2002, when they face Korea DPR at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park Stadium on Tuesday 15 June.
They will then proceed to the neighbouring Soccer City where they face Côte d’Ivoire. Afterwards, they will have to make the 600km distance to Durban to face Portugal in a potential Group G decider at the Durban Stadium on 25 June.