Best: Winners (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
Coach: Luiz Felipe Scolari
Brazil enter every single World Cup as favourites. I guess thats expected when you’re the most successful country in the history of the World Cup. Now that they’re also playing on home soil, well that only adds to the expectations. Not that all locals are thrilled about the World Cup. They’ve also rehired 2002 World Cup winning coach Luiz Felipe “Big Phil” Scolari, they mean business.
Man to Watch:
Neymar is the poster boy for Brazil 2014, and for the World Cup as a whole. Wearing the famous No. 10 for Brazil, he will lead their attack. His first season at FC Barcelona didn’t match the expectations but he has proved himself in national colours (quite the opposite to Lionel Messi). He’s scored 31 goals in 48 appearances for Brazil, not too shabby. He also picked up the Confederations Cup 2013 Golden Ball award, a tournament in which he scored in the final, and beat Spain to lift the cup. His style of play and the flair he brings to the game is reminiscent of Ronaldinho and even Pele. If Brazil want to win this, Neymar will be the man to take them there.
Very few. Scolari has an impressive side with one of the best defenses any Brazilian team has ever had. If there is one area of doubt it would be the front line. Other than Neymar, there aren’t many formidable attackers. Yes Fred and Hulk can do the job, but they’re not likely to make, say a German defense shiver. God forbid, should Neymar pick up an injury during the tournanent, Scolari will find himself scratching his head.
So can they do it?
Yes. They are very likely yo win their group and sail through to the final. A home advantage tips them to beat either Spain or Argentina in the final.
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Atletico Mineiro)
Defenders: Marcelo (Real Madrid), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (AS Roma), Maxwell, Thiago Silva (both Paris St Germain), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Henrique (Napoli)
Midfielders: Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur), Ramires, Willian, Oscar (all Chelsea), Hernanes (Inter Milan), Luiz Gustavo (VfL Wolfsburg), Fernandinho (Manchester City)
Strikers:Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Neymar (Barcelona), Fred (Fluminense), Jo (Atletico Mineiro), Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg)
(Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)