Whilst on a flying visit to the UK, Dunga managed find time to talk to us about his appointment as FIFA/SOS Ambassador as well as his thoughts on the World Cup...
What made you decide to become a FIFA/SOS Ambassador?
As a footballer I gained riches, fame, many opportunities and I travelled the world. I wanted to give something back and enable others to have opportunities in their lives.
Back home in Brazil I have several charitable projects, for example a cancer hospital, so working with SOS Children’s Villages was a natural extension of this work and enabled me to help other people have a better chance in life.
How do you see the World Cup supporting vulnerable children?
Politics, race, religion - none of them matter at the World Cup. It’s a very special event where people from all over the world come together. In four years’ time in South Africa, there will be an incredible improvement in the infrastructure, thanks to the World Cup. The work that SOS Children is doing through the “6 villages for 2006” campaign is helping to raise awareness, so that more can be gained from the World Cup.
The “6 villages for 2006” campaign aims to provide vulnerable children with a new family. How has your family helped you to get where you are today?
Of course my family was very important during my career. You are never alone. They always provided support and love, which helped me to stay focussed.
What are your thoughts on this year’s World Cup?
I think Brazil have a good chance of becoming ‘hexachampions’ (six-time winners), but nothing is ever certain. I was part of the victorious 1994 World Cup winning team and the 1998 Brazil team. So as you can see, favourites don’t always win.
But this year the Brazil team has a great chance - many of the players work outside of Brazil, so when they come together they pool all of their strengths, in contrast to the England team. All the English players play in England, so they never learn about other styles of play or gain new strengths.
So who are you tipping for this year’s World Cup?
I think that as well as Brazil, France, Portugal, Italy and England could all do well.