With the hope of an entire nation on their shoulders, hosts Brazil will be under immense pressure to deliver their sixth World Cup trophy.
Following on from a successful Confederations Cup triumph last summer, much is expected of Neymar and the Selecao. With public unrest, at the tournament being held in Brazil, victory this summer could change public opinion and would help to stop the riots that marred parts of the last summer’s tournament.
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)
Forwards: Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Neymar (Barcelona), Fred (Fluminense), Jo (Atletico Mineiro), Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg)
Manager: Luiz Felipe Scolari
Scolari will enter his second World Cup as Brazil coach after winning his first one all the way back in 2002. He will not have the prolific three R’s to call on this time, but will instead look towards a more workmanlike side to provide ammunition for Neymar and his strike partners (most likely Fred or Jo).
Paulinho and David Luiz haven’t had the best of seasons, so Brazil fans will be hoping to see them turn on the magic this summer. Willian could be the surprise package for the Selecao, he has had an impressive first season for Chelsea and he could become a vital cog in the side if given the chance by Big Phil.
Hoping to do what the 1950 Brazil side failed to do and that is to win the trophy on home soil.
One of the favourites, playing on home soil can change any team’s fortunes. For a team like Brazil whenever a World Cup comes around their fans expect them to win it. Knocked out at the quarter final stage in the last two editions, for that to happen at this tournament is unthinkable. Confidence in the team was raised following victory in the Confederations Cup last summer as they embarrassed Spain 3-0 in the final. Neymar was the stand out player then and he will be fully expected to do the same this summer.