Brazilian flair canít be replicated

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:59 PM ET

DURBAN - When Brazilian coach Dunga preaches that his team will use a more defensive system this time around, there always seem to be a few snickers in the room.

No wonder.

Ever since the days that Pele was brilliantly weaving his way into legendary status, the men in the trademark yellow jerseys have been the artists of the soccer world, showcasing a style of flair unable to be replicated by any other.

Sure, perhaps Dunga wants to tighten things up in his own half of the pitch, especially since they are lumped in with Ivory Coast and Portugal in the Group of Death.

But when the pre-tournament favourites take to the pitch Tuesday against a mediocre North Korean team, it seems difficult to believe the Brazilian stars such as Kaka wonít be attempting to fatten their stat sheets.

At the same time, Dunga seems to be playing a few mind games with the media as the opener approaches.

Sunday marked the second consecutive day Brazil closed its practice, a move that even caught some players off-guard. Brazil normally opens its arms to observers when it works out, but has been quite secretive in recent days.

This was the third time Dunga kept the media from attending a team training session since Brazil arrived in South Africa nearly three weeks ago.

New defensive tactics? Perhaps.

But it would seem difficult to teach this old dog new tricks, wouldnít it? Especially one that has won the title five previous times?

Given the secrecy surrounding the team, no one will really know until Tuesday.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca


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