SAO PAULO (AP) – Internacional fired former Brazil coach Dunga on Friday, a day after the team's fourth loss in a row in the Brazilian league.
Club directors for the two-time Copa Libertadores champion made the announcement following a 3-1 defeat against struggling Vasco da Gama in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.
The result left Inter 10th in the 20-team Brazilian league standings, 22 points behind leader Cruzeiro with 13 rounds left. The team won just one of its last six matches and is only seven points clear from relegation zone.
''I apologize to everyone for anything wrong that I might have done,'' Dunga said in a statement on his website. ''I'm not upset, I'm just frustrated that I was not able to give Internacional better results and more titles.''
Dunga coached Inter in 53 matches, winning 26, drawing 18 and losing nine. He won the Rio Grande do Sul state championship earlier this year.
''I leave as the team's coach but I will remain cheering for Internacional. This will never change,'' the 49-year-old Dunga said. ''I thank the athletes for their respect and their loyalty, and I wish them success during the remainder of the season.''
Dunga's statement was also posted on Internacional's website.
Dunga's replacement was yet to be announced. Internacional said the squad will be temporarily led by former goalkeeper Clemer, the team's under-20 coach. Dunga's assistants also left the club.
Internacional's next match is at home on Sunday against defending Brazilian champion Fluminense, which is eighth in the standings with the same 34 points as Internacional. Fluminense is ahead because it has more victories.
Dunga, whose full name is Carlos Bledorn Verri, left Brazil's national team after it was eliminated by the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in South Africa.
A defensive midfielder who captained Brazil when it won the 1994 World Cup in the United States, Dunga had never coached at any level before he took over the national team in 2006. He accepted the Internacional job earlier this year after spending some time away from football.