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Bebeto backs Brazil coach Dunga to succeed at World Cup

Bebeto played in three World Cups for Brazil, winning the title in 1994 and finishing on the losing team four years later.
Bebeto played in three World Cups for Brazil, winning the title in 1994 and finishing on the losing team four years later.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former World Cup winner Bebeto believes Brazil can claim sixth title in South Africa
  • Bebeto played with current coach Dunga in 1994 triumph in the United States
  • The 46-year-old says Dunga's squad have enough experience to do well in 2010
  • He believes playmaker Kaka will be a key figure if he can regain his best form

Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN) -- Brazilian World Cup winner Bebeto believes his country's current crop of stars are capable of earning a record-extending sixth title in South Africa.

The former striker, now 46, was a member of 1994 team that triumphed in the United States along with the likes of Romario and captain Dunga, who is now Brazil's national coach.

He scored three goals in that tournament, and made the headlines after celebrating his effort in the quarterfinal against the Netherlands by racing to the touchline and rocking his arms back and forth in honor of the recent birth of his third child.

That year Brazil became the first country to win the World Cup four times, having last triumphed in 1970. They managed it under the guidance of coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who is now in charge of 2010 hosts South Africa.

They have the best defense in the world, starting with our goalkeeper -- that makes them similar to the champions in '94
--Bebeto
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Brazil won a dour final on penalties against Italy after the match ended 0-0 following extra-time, and Dunga has been criticized for instigating a similar tactical approach as he left out talented but faded stars such as Ronaldinho and Adriano from his 23-man World Cup squad.

But Bebeto told CNN's Pedro Pinto that Dunga deserves to be given time to impress, having opened the event with a hard-fought 2-1 win over North Korea ahead of Sunday's second Group G clash with the Ivory Coast at Johannesburg's Soccer City.

"I think that this squad is a very strong one. There already world champions in it: Lucio, Juan, Kaka, and others that already won the cup," he said.

"Experience is important. Dunga is working with a group of winners: they came top of their qualifying group, they won the Confederations Cup here in South Africa [in 2009] and they won Copa America. How it is possible to say something against this kind of squad?"

Bebeto agreed that there were similarities between Dunga's team and that of 1994.

"It's a hard-working team. It will be very hard to score against Brazil," he said.

"I think they have the best defense in the world, starting with our goalkeeper -- that makes them similar to the champions in '94.

"When we won in '94, we were already together for 40 days. And that helped a lot. So we need to be patient, and let Dunga do his job. Players like Kaka and Robinho can make the difference.

"Luis Fabiano too, even if he's not in peak condition, and Kaka as well. But a player like Kaka, if he feels good, oh my God..."

Kaka has struggled to find form after an injury-hit first season with Real Madrid in Spain, having left Italian club AC Milan where he had been hailed as the best player in the world.

Forward Robinho has regained the form that prompted English club Manchester City to break the British transfer record in 2008, but only after returning home on loan to Santos.

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