Dunga has no Kaka qualms
Brazil coach Dunga has no qualms over losing Kaka due to the quality of replacements at his disposal.
By Danny Wright
Last Updated: 22/06/10 4:50pm
Brazil coach Dunga has no qualms about losing Kaka to suspension because of the quality of replacements he has at his disposal.
Kaka was given his marching orders during his team's 3-1 win over Ivory Coast on Tuesday after some terrible play-acting from Kader Keita.
The Ivorian striker went down holding his face after running into Kaka to earn the 88th-minute dismissal which rules the Real Madrid man out of Brazil's final Group G encounter against Portugal.
Dunga is fortunate that his team have already secured their passage into the final 16 and that he has a plethora of options to replace the harshly suspended playmaker.
Julio Baptista is the obvious substitute, but other alternatives include Daniel Alves, Ramires, Kleberson and even Robinho.
"There is a lot we can do at midfield," Dunga said. "We have versatile players."
Kaka has endured a injury ravaged first season at Santiago Bernabeu and was just starting to find some form before being forced to sit out the upcoming clash against Portugal.
But his manager was keen to look to the advantage of his star name being able to recuperate, adding: "He will be able to rest a little more."
A point would be enough to keep Brazil top of the group as Portugal and the Ivorians battle it out for the runners-up slot.
That means the Samba nation can experiment when they replace Kaka, although the 27-year-old believes his boss will decide on his successor depending on their ability to unlock Portugal in Durban on Friday.
"Dunga will evaluate what's better tactically and he will chose the player he feels will better help Brazil play well against Portugal," said Kaka.
Those in line to earn a start have all been vying their case for the chance to impress, with Baptista admitting: "I'm ready to step in if needed. I've played in that position and I'm prepared."
Alves feels he has a mandate to feature, adding: "I know Dunga has confidence in how I play. I've been practicing hard and showing that I can play well if he picks me."
And Manchester City man Robinho - who has played in the Kaka position before for Brazil - feels he can make the slot his own. He said: "It wouldn't be a problem for me. We can make it work that way too."