Brazil coach Dunga says he anticipates a "beautiful game" when his side take on the Netherlands in Friday's FIFA World Cup™ quarter-final.
"We expect it to be very open," said Dunga. "At this knock-out stage we can't expect a closed, defensive encounter. From now on each game is a World Cup Final. All the players are first class, I expect a beautiful game against the Dutch."
Kaka is one of ten players going into this mouth-watering encounter already on a yellow card and risks missing out on a potential semi-final should he get a second booking. The Real Madrid playmaker had to sit out Brazil's closing group game against Portugal after being sent off for two yellow cards in the 3-1 win over Côte d'Ivoire.
Dunga confirmed Elano, who has scored twice, will miss the game with an ankle injury, while defensive midfielder Felipe Melo, who was suffering from the same problem, had trained normally at Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University stadium earlier. "We will have to see how Felipe is," Dunga said.
Dunga was on the pitch on the last two occasions Brazil met and beat the Dutch, in the 1994 quarter-finals and the 1998 semi-finals, when the Oranje lost out on penalties. Dunga recalled: "That penalty shoot-out win was very important, very decisive. We wanted to confirm our victory in 1994. In the end we couldn't win the Final, but it was still an excellent result. We didn't play as well as we had done in the Final itself but we did give our best up to the last minute."
In a stifling room in the bowels of the stadium full to the rafters with journalists hanging on his every word, Dunga concluded the briefing as he had started it, with another prediction. "The tendency has always been for us to improve [in a competition]. Our players' confidence levels are increasing, so yes, the tendency is for our level of play to improve."