Tue 28 March 2023 | 20:00

Dunga: "Roberto Baggio was a Brazilian disguised as an Italian"

The 1994 Brazilian World Cup winner, who played alongside Baggio at Fiorentina, believes the Italian icon had the qualities of a Brazilian footballer.

Despite his astonishing career, Roberto Baggio missed a penalty in the 1994 World Cup final that ultimately led to his side finishing as runner-up while Brazil won the trophy. However, the Brazilian legend Dunga hailed his former Fiorentina teammate as a gifted football player.

Speaking to

La Gazzetta dello Sport

, Dunga said about the rumors about Carlo Ancelotti becoming Brazil's manager: “

I don’t know if it will be him. Surely he is a very competent coach and he has won everywhere. Milan, Chelsea, Paris and Munchen.

“Real Madrid almost looked like a finished team when he arrived, but he has regenerated the environment. He knows how to deal with players and he is accustomed to working with Brazilians.

“They don’t even know in the federation. Imagine what I know! They seem pretty stressed, they haven’t taken a direction yet.”

Brazil beat Arrigo Sacchi's Italy in the 1994 World Cup final. On the Italian coach, Dunga said: “Our star in 1994 was Romario. He understood that he had to remain connected with the team. It happened the same with Pelé, Garrincha and even Ronaldo in 2002.

“Sacchi was an important coach, but who remembers Zagallo? During the World Cup in 1970, he played with five No.10 up front. It was impossible to even think about it. Guardiola did the same and everyone praised him, but Zagallo had already done it in 1970.”

On Baggio, Dunga said:

“Baggio was a Brazilian disguised as an Italian.

“He had fun with the ball. He was really happy only when he was on the pitch. At the end of training sessions, he, Stefano Borgonovo and I would stop to practice free kicks and volleys.”

On his time at Fiorentina, Dunga added:

“I was on good terms with his father, Mario, but unfortunately, his son arrived and things changed.

“Club directors invited me for dinner, saying I would have been the captain, but I had to tell them what was happening in the dressing room.

“I replied that I was not the right person to do so, but I made a big mistake. I revealed what happened to my teammates and after two months, the president was informed and freezed me out of the team.”



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source: La Gazzetta dello Sport

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