World Cup 2014 - 22 days to go: Teams - Brazil
It hardly needs saying that the five-time World Champions will be the hot favourites to make it six and pick up the title they last won twelve years ago. Every game will be a home match as Brazil first look to overcome their relative modest opposition in Group A and progress to the final in Rio.
Brazil had fallen down the rankings and Scolari returned as manager in 2013. The first match for the new manager was against England in February which Brazil lost 2-1 at Wembley and by June 6th 2013 they were ranked 22nd in the world, their lowest rank ever. For the 2013 Confederations Cup in the summer of 2013 the objective was to defend their title which they did, comfortably beating reigning World and European champions Spain in the final with a 3-0 win. What a difference a year makes!
As hosts for the 2014 World Cup Brazil automatically qualified and since the friendly defeat to England Brazil have lost only one further match to Switzerland by a tight 1-0 margin. Brazil have since gone on to win every match since September in a seven match winning streak.
Brazil have 2 further friendly matches against Panama on June 3rd and Serbia on June 6th before their first match of the World Cup against Croatia on June 12th followed by matches against Mexico on the 17th and then Cameroon on the 23rd. The current squad contains a number of players familiar to those who follow the Premier League such as David Luiz, Fernandinho, Oscar, Willian, Ramires, Leiva and Paulinho. The twenty-two-year-old Neymar is the player that most people in Brazil pin their hopes on taking Brazil to a sixth title as the biggest talent in the squad. The player has struggled with the more physical aspect of European football at Barcelona which is considered a weakness of his game but that proved no barrier for him to take Brazil to the Confederations Cup title and being named the player of the tournament.
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