In a previous article, Five Thoughts on Brazil vs Argentina, I wrote the following:

“Dunga, I’ll always love you for what you did as a player. If I were to name my all-time Seleção starting XI , you’d be in it. I’ll always defend your first tenure as being underrated and under-appreciated.  But it’s time for you to go.”

The line about naming to my all-time Starting XI raised some eyebrows, as these things tend to do.  I still remember the consternation that arose when I put Bebeto in my list of top 20 Brazilians of all time.

So how could I name Dunga into my all-time starting XI?  What exactly is my reasoning?

It’s a fair question.  But rather than simply answer it and move on, I figured that now was as good a time as any for an article I’d long planned on anyway:

My Brazil All-Time Starting XI

In this article (which I’ve broken up into three parts because Part One alone is over 4,000 words) I’m going to not only name my all-time starting XI, but describe the rationale behind my own choices.  In doing so, I hope not only to answer the Dunga question, but provoke some discussion on what your all-time starting XI would be.  Because discussion is what this site is supposed to be about.

But before we start naming names, let’s define what we’re actually talking about here.  Continue reading