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Dunga warns Brazil of complacency

June 15, 2010

Brazil coach Dunga is warning his players against complacency when they take on rank outsiders North Korea at Ellis Park on Tuesday.

Dunga
GettyImagesDunga's Brazil face North Korea in their opening game.

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The five-time world champions, ranked No.1 in the world, face a side ranked 85th in what should be a one-sided contest, although North Korea coach Kim Jong-Hun certainly does not see it that way and believes the "strong mentality'' of his men can combat the great names and reputations of Brazil.

With matches against the Ivory Coast and Portugal to follow for the South Americans a victory against the Asian side is essential, but Dunga has told his players not to be over-confident.

"We have to congratulate the Asian teams, they have evolved tremendously over the years," he said. "They are no longer the weaker team. Sometimes we believe that a certain team is the best, but football does not lie. We have to respect our opponent and do everything in our grasp to win.''

Kim has drawn on the inspiration of the 1966 North Korea side, who reached the quarter-finals in England before losing 5-3 to Portugal at Goodison Park.

"Some of the 1966 team came to the training camps and gave us advice and encouragement and told us what it would be like (at the World Cup),'' the coach said. "They gave us encouragement so that we could make our great leader Kim Jong-il very proud.

"Of course Brazil are a strong team, they are a perennial favourite. But we have a strong mentality and that is why I think we will prevail.''

Anything less than a swaggering victory will increase the pressure on Dunga, who is criticised in Brazil for his pragmatic approach at the expense of style and flair.

Dunga defended his record though and said: "We have scored over 100 goals so we must be somewhat creative. We are a very balanced team.

"In truth I've heard the criticism that we lack creativity and that we are prone to excessive defensive play since the beginning. It doesn't bother me if people criticise me, but it has got to be done with a certain degree of respect and responsibility.''

Kaka should bring some invention to the Brazil side after a season disrupted by injuries at club level with Real Madrid, while first-choice goalkeeper Julio Cesar is fit after overcoming a back problem.