Brazil coach Dunga has dimissed criticism of his team by Dutch legend Johan Cruyff ahead of the two nations’ World Cup quarter final clash in Port Elizabeth this afternoon.
Cruyff, part of the Dutch side in the 1970s that pioneered the Total Football concept, said earlier this week: “I would never pay for a ticket to watch the matches of this Brazilian team. Where has the Brazil team we all know disappeared to in this World Cup?
“I look at this team and I remember people like Gerson, Tostao, Falcao, Zico or Socrates. Now I only see Gilberto, Melo, Bastos, Julio Baptista. Where is the Brazilian magic?”
To his credit Dunga chose not to point out that the 2010 Netherlands side have been slow and stodgy throughout and that their best player has probably been Dirk Kuyt. He did, however, make the observation that Cruyff probably hasn’t paid for a match ticket in 30 years.
“It’s up to him,” said Dunga. “Cruyff can pay to watch this game if he wants. But I am sure Cruyff is not going to pay for the ticket, so therefore he can watch it if he wants to.”
Dunga then went on to stick the boot in, suggesting the 63-year-old Cruyff was little more than a grumpy old man: “My grandfather said in his day football was excellent,” he said. “My father said that, I say that and I am sure my son and my grandson are going to say exactly the same, that in their day the football was very good, that the players could dribble magnificently, they could head magnificently. We know world-class players are always outstanding at any time.”