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Dunga, Maradona out to make a point at World Cup

From dour Dunga to the downright eccentric Diego Maradona, the leading coaches at the World Cup are plotting different ways to win the title.

sports Updated: Jun 09, 2010 18:10 IST

From dour Dunga to the downright eccentric Diego Maradona, the leading coaches at the World Cup are plotting different ways to win the title.

Brazil coach Dunga has upset millions of his countrymen by leaving big stars such as Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato and Adriano out of a squad he believes needs stability to win a sixth World Cup.

One of the game's all time greats as a player, Maradona has stunned the football world by ignoring hugely experienced defenders Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso, who showed their top form by helping Inter Milan win the Champions League.

Maradona has been unable to get the best out of stars such as Lionel Messi and the football jury is out as to whether such a great player will ever make it as a coach.

While the rejection of these top players seems crazy, no one will be complaining in Brazil if Dunga wins the title he won as a player 16 years ago. And Maradona will achieve even greater plaudits in Argentina if he justifies his selections by capturing a third for his country.

While Dunga has a wealth of talent to choose from, England's Fabio Capello struggled to find genuinely top quality players to complement the stars he has.

The Italian, who has had major club successes with AC Milan and Real Madrid, knows he has the nucleus of a team to get very close to winning the title. But he doesn't have a safe and reliable goalkeeper and can't find the right partner for Wayne Rooney in attack.

What he does have, however, is a technique to get these millionaire stars to do what he wants, to behave smartly and respectfully even at their team hotel where cell phones and flip-flops are banned in public and the players dine together as a team. The disciplinarian has also ordered his England players to leave their wives and girlfriends - and millionaire lifestyles - behind.

"Capello instills fear, like a severe dad," England striker Wayne Rooney said of the England head coach. "He has explained to us how to do everything. He has made us more of a squad. He has worked above all on the tactics, now we can change them every match."

While Capello has many players who are at their peak, Italy's Marcello Lippi, who guided the team to its triumph four years ago, is trying to get one last effort from his aging stars.

Lippi was persuaded to return to the role after a disastrous spell by Roberto Donadoni, and it's no surprise that nine 30-something players are still around and that 36-year-old 2006 World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro is starring in the centre of defence.