Brazil coach Dunga says doors still open for Maicon despite indiscipline problem

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Brazil coach Dunga sits on the bench before an international soccer friendly between Ecuador and Brazil, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


SAO PAULO — Brazil coach Dunga is not ruling out calling up Maicon despite dropping him from the squad because of indiscipline.

The veteran defender was released on Sunday after failing to report back to the team's hotel by a time set by the coach. Players were coming off a rest day after a friendly against Colombia in the United States.

Maicon started in Brazil's 1-0 win in Miami on Friday and was supposed to return to the hotel at 8 p.m. on Saturday along with the rest of the players, but didn't show up until about 11 hours later.

The player has yet to publicly explain his delay. The Brazilian confederation had only said it was "an internal matter."

"I respect Maicon and the doors are not closed to any player," Dunga said after a 1-0 win over Ecuador in a friendly in New Jersey on Tuesday.

Some confederation officials said the 33-year-old Roma player would likely not play again for Brazil after what happened, and local media reported the player's agent also didn't think he would get another chance.

"It hurts to take away an opportunity like this from a player, but sometimes things like this can happen," Dunga said. "I want to make sure that I do what is best for the national team. I'm in command and I have to make decisions. But we can't make anything definite, I'm not here to judge anybody, we all get a second chance."

Dunga, a former defensive midfielder in his second stint with the national team, was known for his toughness as a player and continued to cultivate the image of a disciplinarian after becoming a coach following the 2006 World Cup.

The oldest player in Dunga's squad, Maicon was responsible for bringing his experience to a squad filled with younger players being prepared for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Maicon was one of the players who were part of Luiz Felipe Scolari's team that finished fourth in the home World Cup.


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