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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct 8, 2008

Dunga wants Kaka to be himself in qualifier

SAO PAULO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - AC Milan playmaker Kaka would be encouraged to be himself and play his natural game should he make his international return on Sunday after an 11-month absence, Brazil coach Dunga has said.

Kaka has suffered a series of nagging injury problems this year, forcing him to miss all of Brazil's games, and Brazilian media have questioned the player's commitment.

"We all want to be able to count on Kaka but unfortunately he has been out for a while because of injury," Dunga told reporters at the national team's training camp in the mountain resort of Teresopolis ahead of Sunday's match away to Venezuela.

"I hope that Kaka will be Kaka, nothing more than that. I haven't had to speak to him because we don't have any problem," he added when asked if he had had a private conversation with the player.

Brazil badly need a win to lift the pressure on the coach after a poor run of results, culminating in a dismal goalless draw at home to Bolivia last month.

Brazil, the only country to have played at every World Cup, are second in the 10-team South American qualifying group, which reaches the halfway mark at the weekend.

They have slipped four points behind leaders Paraguay and, with three teams sitting just behind them, could quickly drop down the table if they fail to win in San Cristobal.

Brazil will be without striker Luis Fabiano through injury while midfielder Diego is suspended and out-of-form Ronaldinho has been dropped.

"The fact that we can't keep the same team complicates things," said Dunga. "We have to try and keep the same side for four or five games."

Kaka told reporters: "I missed playing for Brazil and I'm happy to be back. I hope I can transmit my happiness on the field.

"It's difficult to explain the sensation of being out of the national team."

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