Dunga was the driving force behind Brazil's first successful World Cup campaign in 24 years. Mike Hewitt/Allsport
For many Brazilians, the inclusion of Dunga in the midfield for the 1990 World Cup, and his subsequent promotion to captain for the 1994 finals, marked a betrayal of Brazil's soccer heritage.
Dunga was a tough-tackling, tactically disciplined holding midfielder of the European school. Unforgivably, in the eyes of many Brazilians, he lacked, or rather chose not to deploy, the showy skills the world had come to expect from the men in yellow.
But in Dunga's 94 games for his country, Brazil lost just three times: in the second round in 1990 against Argentina, in a meaningless first round clash with Norway in 1998 and in the final against France later in that competition. And in 1994 Dunga was the driving force behind Brazil's first successful World Cup campaign in 24 years.
While Romario and Bebeto scored the goals and stole the headlines, Dunga teamed up with Mauro Silva to create a formidable midfield barrier in front of a defense that was breached just three times. In the shootout, Dunga was typically ruthless in converting the penalty that, fittingly, earned Brazil its fourth World Cup title.
Even then there was criticism that Brazil's 1994 side was not worthy of its 1970 predecessor and in 1998 the pressure was on Brazil to retain its title in style. But Dunga, aged 34, remained a crucial defensive presence in a team that may have played with more flair but cracked under pressure in the final.