Brazil’s soccer confederation, known as CBF, on Tuesday fired national men’s team coach Dunga, following the squad’s recent dismal performance in the Copa America, and only a few weeks before the Summer Olympic Games.
The sudden but widely expected ouster of Dunga, a former national team star whose real name is Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri, is the latest blow to the stature of Brazil’s proud, once-feared national team.
Although Brazil is the only country to have won the World Cup five times, its Seleção has suffered a yearslong decline and was humiliated 7-1 by Germany in the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup, which Brazil hosted.
No replacement has yet been named for Dunga, who declined to speak to the media about his firing. The rest of his coaching staff, including technical director, Gilmar Rinaldi, also was fired.
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The decision was taken two days after Brazil was eliminated in the group stage of the Copa América Centenario. The Copa America competition is a quadrennial regional tournament in which South America’s national teams participate. It’s being played in a special 100th anniversary edition this year including teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean.
During the Cup, Brazil performed poorly, managing only a tie against Ecuador, a comfortable win versus Haiti, but then being eliminated after a defeat against Peru.
It was the first time in nearly three decades that Brazil had been eliminated from the Copa América in the group phase. In 2015, also under Dunga, Brazil was eliminated in the quarterfinals, after a defeat to Chile, who were eventual champions.