Pele hands his backing to Brazil coach Dunga

October 7, 2006

DUBAI, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Pele backed Brazil's new coach Dunga to succeed in his job despite his inexperience in the role.

'I have confidence in Dunga's capabilities, I think he has everything he takes to be a great coach,' Pele told the Brazilian Football Confederation's (CBF) official website.

'I think his success will depend a lot on the luck factor, which is also important in football.'

Pele, who was visiting the team in Kuwait on Friday ahead of Saturday's friendly international, felt last month's 3-0 friendly win over arch-rivals Argentina gave Brazilian fans a boost following their quarter-final exit at the World Cup.

'This was very good,' he said. 'After the World Cup failure ... he has already brought some happiness back to the supporters by beating Argentina. So, he's already shown that he has luck.'

Dunga, who captained Brazil at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, was named as a surprise replacement for Carlos Alberto Parreira in July even though he had no previous coaching experience.

He has already started a re-building job and has made top players such as Kaka start on the substitutes' bench.

'There are always going to be transitional periods, the important thing is that it happens gradually in the way Dunga is doing,' said Pele.

Dunga has placed a big emphasis on team spirit and commitment, something many feel was missing from Brazil's World Cup squad.

'I often quote Pele as an example, as there was a day when he sat on the bench,' Dunga said.

'I tell the players that if Pele can sit on the bench without causing problems, then nobody else has the right to be any different.'

Brazil are unbeaten in three games under Dunga, a record they are comfortably expected to continue against Kuwait on Saturday.

Dunga said he was not taking for anything for granted, however.

'They are not a team which is prominent in terms of world football but they will have a lot of motivation and will create a lot of problems for Brazil,' he said in a televised interview.

Brazil beat the United Arab Emirates 8-0 on their previous visit to the region last year.