Top 10 Japanese Foreigners: No. 2 - Dunga

Top 10 Japanese Foreigners: No. 2 - Dunga

By Ryan Steele (follow Ryan on twitter @Steelinho)

With tomorrow being the final day of the J. League season we’re almost at the end of our countdown of the Top 10 Foreigners in Japanese Football, today we look at number two on the list.

2. Dunga

Full Name: Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri
Nationality: Brazilian
Clubs: Jubilo Iwata (1995 - 1998)
Games: 99
Goals: 16

J. League MVP: 1997
J. League Best XI: 1997, 1998

Dunga during his time at Jubilo Iwata

Known as Brazil’s hardman, Dunga arrived in the Shizuoka Prefecture in the centre of Japan midway through the 1995 J-League season, a year after winning the 1994 World Cup as captain of the Selecao.

A defensive midfielder with a penchant for no-holds-barred challenges, Dunga was quick to strike fear and weary respect into both opponents and his own teammates at Jubilo Iwata.

His temper led him to regular on-field, mid-game outbursts, getting in the face of and even the occasional shoving of his own teammates out of frustration of their mistakes or unprofessionalism. He wanted to be a winner and he didn’t want anything to get in his way of that goal.

Considered by some as Jubilo’s unofficial on-field coach at times, he would inform his teammates on their incorrect positioning during stoppages and gave advice on little tricks, nudges and fouls they can may be able to get away with under the right referee.

One famous instance of his attempts to coach his own teammates, despite not even captaining the side, was a 1998 game (Dunga’s last season at the club) against Nagoya Grampus Eight, where rookie striker and future Japanese national team star, Naohiro Takahara, was continually berated by the Brazilian for his various errors and being too selfish.

While Dunga’s J. League career lasted just three-and-a-half years and ended after the 1998 season, he also left behind a biography and another book, roughly translated as Professional: A Winner’s Requirement, as his further legacy to the game.

Inside the latter book, he wrote about what it is to be a professional footballer in his own opinion, what should and shouldn’t be done and the importance of determination.

* Credit to Scott McIntyre (SBS), Ben Mabley (The Blizzard and Football Japan Minutecast), Alan Gibson (JSoccer Magazine), Sean Carrol (The Japan Times), Cesare Polenghi ( Asia), Dan Orlowitz ( Japan), Ben Maxwell (JTalk Podcast), Mario Kawata (@MarioUrawa) and Paul Williams (Asian Football Feast) for contributing to the compilation of this list.

This list only considers those who did not represent the national team, meaning the likes of Wagner Lopes and Ruy Ramos were not in contention.

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