The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva criticized sharply the spirit of the national football team, which on Tuesday, August 19, lost an Olympic soccer game to Argentina in Beijing 3-0, excluding the country from a possible gold medal in that sport.
The team coached by Dunga suffered a humiliating defeat in the semifinals of the Olympics and in another failed attempt in the race to conquer the gold medal – the five-time world champion in football has never won a gold medal in that event – probably the only honor which Brazil's passion sport is longing for.
"I've never seen a team with such a poor winning spirit," said Lula to members of Congress from the ruling coalition that regularly meets at the Political Council of the Coalition. "I've never felt so furious in my life" added the president according to Jovair Arantes, the leader of the PTB (Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro – Brazilian Labor Party) in the House of the Representatives.
Legislators present at the meeting said the Brazilian President compared the performance of the Brazilian squad against Argentina as "the worst days of Corinthians", the Sao Paulo team of which he's a fan since a boy.
But the President went further and pointed out that the Brazilian national team had surpassed those terrible days of his beloved Corinthians "because of the lack of quality play and spirit displayed." Corinthians no longer plays in the Brazilian premier league.
The speaker of the House, Arlindo Chinaglia, from the ruling PT (Workers Party), suggested that head coach Dunga should get the pink slip. According to him, the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation) should have fired the coach a long time ago.
Dunga was defended, however, by the Senate President, Garibaldi Alves. from the PMDB, who wants the coach to continue in his post. "I agree in many things," he said, "with Arlindo Chinaglia, but not in this case. I believe that Dunga should be given another chance in the national team."
Besides having to suffer three goals from Argentina, two from Aguero, Maradona's son in law and a penalty kick from Riquelme, Brazil had two players expelled from the field, Thiago Neves and Lucas.
The Argentine-Brazilian football rivalry is a question of national honor for both countries, which makes defeats so painful.
Next Friday the Brazilian team which on Tuesday was led by world star Ronaldinho will face Belgium for the bronze medal.
Argentina plays for gold on Saturday against Nigeria, which defeated Belgium 4-1.
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