NNESBURG (AFP) The extraordinary crush of media and fans expectations has exerted even more pressure on Brazil to get off to a flying start against North Korea in their World Cup opener here on Tuesday.
Such is the unrealistic demands heaped on the five-time world champions not only to win but in style that coach Dunga and his players are under excruciating scrutiny to produce the goods against the Asian minnows at Ellis Park Stadium.
Brazil go into their Group G match expected to come away with three points against the reclusive North Koreans in their first-ever encounter.
Brazil are ranked number one and North Korea, playing their first World Cup since their sensational debut in 1966, come in at 105, so the gulf between the rivals is monumental.
Dunga has not enamoured himself to the massed ranks of his countrys football media by banning reporters from training for the third time in a week ahead of their World Cup opener.
More than 400 media personnel are in South Africa to report on the squads every move, further heightening fractious relations ever since Dunga took charge of the team in 2006. Dungas emphasis on work-rate and defensive duties has left the supporters of the jogo bonito (beautiful game) fuming, but the World Cup-winning skipper is intent on forging the Brazil approach in his own image.
Dunga can point to just four defeats in his 55 games in charge as proof that his methods are bringing results.
But even though he has been successful in lifting the Copa America and Confederations Cup the media see the 1994 World Cup-winning skipper as a cautious individual whose team lacks flair.
Dunga remains defiant in the teeth of the hostility. If we have to get down and dirty to win then we will - the important thing is to win, he said.
It is imperative that Brazil come away with nothing less than a win over North Korea as they have tough examinations to come in their 'Group of Death against Portugal and Ivory Coast.
North Korea provide one of the intriguing stories of this World Cup.
It is their first World Cup tournament in 44 years when back in England they shocked the world with a 1-0 win over then two-time world champions Italy before going out after an epic 5-3 loss to Portugal in the quarter-finals.
The North Koreans go in with nothing to lose against the red-hot favourites, although there is a steely belief within the squad that they can prove an irritant to Brazil.
Their best-known player Jong Tae-Se hopes his team can change the image of the isolated nation and believes they could topple mighty Brazil.
Striker Jong, who plays in Japans J-League, said: We want to change the North Korean image. Our core mentality is like Germany, Germanys spirit.
Were brave. We can win against Brazil. (What) everybody thinks about that game is we cant win but we have a brave heart and brave spirits.
KEY TO MATCH
Luis Fabiano/Kaka against North Korean defence
The doughty North Koreans will need all their resilience and application to hold out the creative talents of striker Luis Fabiano and midfielder Kaka for 90 minutes. It ranks as one of the supreme challenges in world football and they will be striving to give as little away as possible.