The image of Dunga screaming as he lifted the World Cup as Brazil captain is still fresh in the minds of thousands of Brazilians. On the afternoon of July 17, 1994, at the Rose Bowl, in Pasadena, United States, Brazil beat Italy in the first penalty shootout final in the history of the World Cup and took the fourth title.
The captain’s cry was the same as the cry of a generation of fans, who were anxiously awaiting a feat that had not come for 24 years – since 1970, with Pele on the field. On that day, another generation was born, with fruits that became known years later, as world-famous fans or players. Carlos Caetano Bledorn Ferre, aka Dunga, aged 58, was born in Igoe and was a pivotal figure in Brazilian football history.
Read more: A day in history
He competed in three World Cups (1990, 1994 and 1998), two of which were in the selection competition, and moved to clubs in Italy, Germany, Japan and Brazil. Back home, he never concealed his passion for Internacional, starting his career in 1983 and stopping his boots in 1999. As a coach, he spent two spells with the Brazilian national team, winning the Copa América and the Copa América for the Confederations Cup. Already in Inter’s technical leadership, he lifted the Gauchão Cup.
Currently, the tetra leader maintains a social work developed in Instituto Dunga, with the Seleção do Bem 8 project. On a visit to Sobradinho last Thursday, 21, he followed up an activity at the Atlético Esportivo Sobradinho, where the value and non-perishable food items that have been collected. The project benefited his project and two other entities in the city of Centro Serra – Women’s League Against Cancer in Sobradino and Centro-Serra Valentes de Davi Recovery House -.
Read more: Video: Captain of the Tetra visits Centro Serra
By the way, in addition to talking about social work, talk to South Gazette About his football-related life and the episodes that marked his career.
Check out the full interview with Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri, aka Dunga:
- South Gazette – What are your memories of winning the 1994 World Cup, when the Brazilian national team, despite being vilified by part of the population, managed to lift the trophy?
Dunga – It is natural for a person to criticize, to doubt. But when it comes to the Brazilian national team, when it’s time for the World Cup, people come together to cheer for Brazil. It’s been 24 years without winning the cup and we, players, have been keeping in mind that when people criticize and talk, there’s no point in complaining and putting yourself out there as a victim. Our minds are divided into problems and solutions. You have to focus on the solution because the problem cannot be solved. Fortunately we were champions. Our whole group wanted to go down in history. We’ve already done professionally, we’ve already played in Europe, we’ve lived a quiet life, but there’s no point in owning it all if we don’t have stories to tell our children, grandchildren and friends. Man is made of stories. Being successful, but having a path, accomplishments, difficulties and getting to know the human you became on this journey. Football is our life. Since childhood, everything that happens is more important than the good gained as an adult, because what is important is the story of what you did to get to who you are.
- What happened in the 1998 World Cup final when Brazil did not play well and crushed France 3-0?
To do this analysis, we have to go back in time a little bit. It’s been 24 years since Brazil won anything. Then we made it to two finals in a row. It is natural for people to always want more. Of course he had Ronaldo’s problem, the Nuba, in the early afternoon. But we also have to be great to know that others have been better. There is no point in trying to make excuses. Perhaps, if this thing had happened about Ronaldo three or four days ago, there would have been time for us to think and respond differently. In the World Cup, you work four years in order to make a decision. And when you get to the final, if a problem like this happened half an hour ago, it screws everything up. The focus was all on the final. A little while ago, we stopped thinking about the match and started thinking about what happened to Ronaldo. Then everything messed up. By the time we got on the field and started playing, it was already 2-0.
- When did you find out that Ronaldo is not feeling well?
A little later in the afternoon we found out. About three hours before the final. We had lunch and after the rest there was an hour’s lecture. In that period it happened, and then everyone got worried. First, because he was the best player in the world at the time. Second, because he was a friend of ours who’d been with us for years. Everyone wondered if he would play again, if not anymore. In this, we can see that the thought left the end game entirely due to a health issue. Then, when we entered the field and got up, it was 2-0.
- With the titles won by the Brazilian national team and Internacional, do you have plans to continue your coaching career?
Invitations always arrive. But I have a quiet life at the moment. Football has given me more than I expected. She gave me a lot. And in the time of a pandemic, sometimes it’s not the main focus, but others. In order for me to be happy, other people around me must be happy. There is no point in having everything and those around me have nothing. We have to learn to participate too. Everything has its time and its time. If I had to go back to training, I would go back to training, but I wasn’t the only one putting work behind, my team from the Seleção do Bem 8 project did too. We are now glad to be able to help others. Life has already been full of great gratitude to me, so it’s time to donate a little too.
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