Soccer: Brazil reportedly to name Dunga as coach


RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil is set to name its new national team coach, with reports suggesting Carlos Dunga is likely to return to the post.

Brazil will announce a coach on Tuesday to succeed Luiz Felipe Scolari, who resigned after Brazil failed to win the World Cup — eliminated in a humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals.

Reports say Dunga will get the job, although the Brazilian football confederation has declined to confirm the appointment.

Dunga was the captain of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup-winning team, and coached the national team in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He was dismissed after Brazil lost 2-1 in the quarterfinals to the Netherlands.

The Rio de Janeiro daily O Globo put Dunga’s face across the first page of its sports section on Monday, under the headline: “New Era: The Return of Dunga.”

“In a moment when the national team seeks a lost identity, the national federation rescues a symbol of football and results,” the paper wrote.

The Sao Paulo newspaper O Estado De S.Paulo put a brief story on the return on Dunga on its first page, and inside ran the headline: “CBF Is Going To Confirm Dunga Tomorrow.”

The return of Dunga seems to be linked to the naming of Gilmar Rinaldi as the new technical director, replacing Carlos Alberto Parreira.

Rinaldi was a goalkeeper on the ‘94 team, and Globo said he and Dunga had reached a quick agreement for the former coach and captain to return.

The second choice for coach seems to be Tite — Adenor Leonardo Bacchi — the coach of Brazilian club side Corinthians. He was an early favorite, but slipped after Rinaldi was named.

Dunga was in charge of 60 matches as national team coach. Brazil won 42, drew 12 and lost six.

Forward Rodriguez likely headed for Real Madrid

MADRID — James Rodriguez, the Colombia striker who was the top scorer at the World Cup, is closing in on a deal with Real Madrid.

The 23-year-old Monaco forward scored six goals in Brazil, including a spectacular volley against Uruguay in the second round.

Spanish sports newspaper As said Monday that Monaco has agreed terms with Madrid, whose president Florentino Perez has delayed his flight to Los Angeles where the club’s squad is scheduled to do some preseason training.

Sports newspaper Marca, traditionally very close to Madrid’s boardroom, says Rodriguez is to be presented to fans on Tuesday.

Madrid has already signed Germany midfielder Toni Kroos for next season.

England’s Gerrard retires from international play

LONDON — England captain Steven Gerrard announced his retirement from the national team Monday to focus on playing for Liverpool.

The 34-year-old midfielder made 114 appearances for England over 14 years.

Gerrard said he “agonized” over his future after the World Cup in Brazil, where England went out in the first round.

He told the Football Association that “this has been a very difficult decision, one of the toughest I’ve had to make in my career.”

Gerrard’s career with the Three Lions began with a 2-0 win against Ukraine in 2000.

He is third all-time in appearances for England behind goalkeeper Peter Shilton (125) and David Beckham (115). Gerrard was captain for 38 international games and scored 21 goals, including three in his 12 World Cup appearances.

“I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country and it is a sad day for me knowing that I won’t pull on the England shirt again,” Gerrard said. “To ensure I can keep playing to a high level and giving everything to Liverpool Football Club I believe this is the right decision.”

England manager Roy Hodgson was disappointed with the decision but said he understood it.

“I must respect his wishes due to the discussions we have had and the amount of thought and consideration he himself has given it,” Hodgson said. “We shall miss his leadership qualities as we look ahead to the (Euro 2016) qualification campaign with a youthful group of players.”

By wire sources