Pressure on Brazil to vanquish North Korea in style

The extraordinary crush of media and fans` has exerted more pressure on Brazil.

Last Updated: Jun 14, 2010, 15:30 PM IST

Johannesburg: The extraordinary crush of media and fans` expectations has exerted even more pressure on Brazil to get off to a flying start against North Korea in their World Cup opener.

Such is the unrealistic demands heaped on the five-time world champions not only to win but in style that coach Dunga and his players are under excruciating scrutiny to produce the goods against the Asian minnows at Ellis Park Stadium.

Brazil go into their Group G match expected to come away with three points against the reclusive North Koreans in their first-ever encounter.

Brazil are ranked number one and North Korea, playing their first World Cup since their sensational debut in 1966, come in at 105, so the gulf between the rivals is monumental.

Dunga has not enamoured himself to the massed ranks of his country`s football media by banning reporters from training for the third time in a week ahead of their World Cup opener.

More than 400 media personnel are in South Africa to report on the squad`s every move, further heightening fractious relations ever since Dunga took charge of the team in 2006.
Dunga`s emphasis on work-rate and defensive duties has left the supporters of the "jogo bonito" (beautiful game) fuming, but the World Cup-winning skipper is intent on forging the Brazil approach in his own image.

Dunga can point to just four defeats in his 55 games in charge as proof that his methods are bringing results.

But even though he has been successful in lifting the Copa America and Confederations Cup the media see the 1994 World Cup-winning skipper as a cautious individual whose team lacks flair.
Dunga remains defiant in the teeth of the hostility. "If we have to get down and dirty to win then we will – the important thing is to win," he said.

It is imperative that Brazil come away with nothing less than a win over North Korea as they have tough examinations to come in their `Group of Death` against Portugal and Ivory Coast.

PTI