Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Olympics harder than World Cup, says Brazil´s Dunga

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Jul 2008


Securing a first Olympic title will be a tougher job than the World Cup, Brazil's coach Dunga said Sunday, and insisted his young team was up to the task of football gold at the Beijing Games.

While Brazil have held the World Cup five times they have never won at the Olympics, but Dunga said his squad — including Ronaldinho — were coping well with the weight of expectation.

“To win (an) Olympic medal is a bit harder because we don't have much time to prepare,” he told reporters in Singapore ahead of an exhibition match here Monday.

“With respect to the World Cup, we have four years to prepare for it… in Olympic Games normally we have 15 days and players are coming back from holidays, from other competition,” he said.

The Brazilian team, including two-time World Player of the Year Ronaldinho, 18-year-old AC Milan sensation Alexandre Pato, and Manchester United's Anderson, have been going through drills and tactics since arriving last week.

“There is a lot of pressure in winning… most of these players, although they are young, they are already playing in big teams in Europe and also in Brazil so they are coping quite well,” said Dunga.

Anderson, who already has Premier League and Champions League titles under his belt, is keen to add another medal to his rapidly escalating collection.

“I am playing for my country and that is really important for me,” he told the Straits Times newspaper.

“Every player wants to win in Europe, but I can't deny how important it is to win the only medal that Brazil has never won.”

Eighteen-year-old Pato, who has been hailed as Milan's bright new hope, said experienced players like 28-year-old Ronaldinho would help steady the nerves.

“I am glad to be in a team that consists of more experienced players who can help and support me on the field,” he told reporters.

“It also calms me and helps me to try and do my best on the field.”

Dunga and his team arrived in Singapore last week as part of preparations for next month's Olympics.

After a game Monday against Singapore, they will head to Hanoi for a friendly against Vietnam's national side on August 1.

Brazil won the Olympic silver medal in the 1984 and 1988 Games, and bronze in 1996. The Olympic tournament begins on August 6, with the final on August 23.


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