Copa defeat is a learning experience: Dunga


Concepcion: Brazil`s beleaguered coach Dunga insisted Saturday his side`s miserable Copa America campaign had been a useful experience for his squad as they build towards the 2018 World Cup.

The 1994 World Cup-winning captain saw his team bundled out of the quarter-finals by Paraguay on penalties, in a repeat of Brazil`s last-eight exit to the same opponents four years ago.

It capped a disappointing campaign in Chile for Brazil, who had arrived at the tournament in confident mood after a run of 10 consecutive victories following their disastrous World Cup humiliation last year.

Dunga attempted to put a brave face on Saturday`s latest setback, however, saying that it would only help his side develop.

“It is preparation, a good experience,” Dunga said. “We would like to win but it is a great lesson, learning for the highest purpose of the tie as we look at the World Cup in 2018.”

Dunga cited the absence of key players as weakening his options, while revealing that a virus had affected as many as 15 members of his squad during the tournament.

“I`m not making excuses, but around 15 players had viruses which limited our training,” Dunga said.

“Some had headaches, back pain, body aches. Some players felt it more than others and had to reduce training, some players vomited,” he added without elaborating on the cause of the illness.