Neymar netting in Barcelona’s UEFA Champions League final win over Juventus is a timely boost for Brazil heading into the Copa America, according to head coach Dunga.
The striker took his season tally to 39 goals in all competitions when he found the net deep into stoppage time as Barca clinched the treble with Saturday’s 3-1 victory in Berlin.
Next up for Neymar is the Copa America in Chile – Brazil’s campaign starts against Peru next Sunday – and Dunga is relishing his arrival with the squad.
“I don’t think that this is only important for the national team,” he said.
“In my opinion this is good for the Brazilian football as a whole, having a player scoring in the final and winning the Champions League.
“For Brazil this is very good. As I said before, I was happy to see Barcelona playing that match because it will keep Neymar very motivated so it was good for us.”
Dunga knows his players – who play Mexico in a friendly on Sunday – will be closely scrutinised over the coming weeks some 12 months on from their 7-1 World Cup semi-final humiliation at the hands of Germany on home soil.
He added: “Obviously we wanted to win that World Cup at home.
“The coach and the players wanted it more than anyone else. Unfortunately it didn’t happen. But we will not freak out because of that. Some were saying that we were relegated to the second or even third level of the world’s football.
“So I leave you with this question: Brazil didn’t lift a trophy for 24 years and even then we produced so many talented players in that period. Were we ‘relegated’ to inferior level back then? No, we were still Brazil.
“It will not be different now. Obviously we must fight back now showing determination to give an answer even stronger than the normal.”
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