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2022 World Cup: Country profile – Brazil

Factfile on Brazil who are in World Cup Group G:

Best World Cup performance: Winners 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002.

Other honours: Copa America winners 1919, 1922, 1949, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2019; Confederations Cup winners 1997, 2005, 2009, 2013.

FIFA ranking: 1.

Main clubs: Flamengo, Palmeiras, Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Santos, Gremio.

How they qualified: Unbeaten winners of the single South American qualifying group.

Coach: Tite, 61, was appointed in 2016 and took over a national team still struggling to come to terms with their traumatic 7-1 defeat against Germany in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup on home soil. He built a solid and well-balanced team around Neymar. While he has come in for some criticism for supposedly emphasising defence over attack, Tite survived a quarter-final exit at the 2018 World Cup and led the team to victory at the 2019 Copa America before taking them unbeaten through qualifying. Before becoming national coach, Tite won the Copa Libertadores and two Brazilian titles with Corinthians. He also led them to victory over Chelsea in the 2012 Club World Cup final.

Key player: Having reached the age of 30, Neymar knows this could be his last chance to win a World Cup after the agony of 2014 — when his tournament was ended by injury before he saw his team-mates collapse against Germany — and the disappointment of 2018. The former Santos prodigy left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a world record deal in 2017 but his move to France has not brought him the collective or individual honours he craves. He has not won the Champions League at PSG and he has still never won a Ballon d’Or. None of that will matter if he can lead Brazil to World Cup glory.

Expectations and key players according to Rodrigo Oliveira, Grupo RBS:

Expectations:

“The people in Brazil are very excited for the tournament and very confident that Brazil has a great chance to be the Champion for the first time. Until few weeks ago, Brazilian people were foccused on the election between Lula and Bolsonaro. Now, the pople are starting to realize that there is a World Cup coming up. As the results are being good, the people expect for a title. The problem is the lack of games Against European teams during this cycle. As Europeans teams play the UEFA Nations League, South American teams can’t organize friendly games against teams from Europe. As European teams have unique skills, I think this could be a problem against Serbia and Switzerland and specially in the following stages, against the greatest European teams. But we think here that Brazil has one of the best squads in the world and it will fight for the title.”

Key players:

“The most important player is Neymar. It’s for sure the best player of this Generation. But we use to say in Brazil that he needs to win a World Cup to be in the same group as legends like Ronaldo, Romario, Ronaldinho, Tostao, Garrincha… The other key players are in the attack. Until one or two Years ago, Brazil were a little bit dependant of Neymar. After that, Tite could develop new strikers and could organize a strategy to make the team Strong even When Neymar is out. The attack is so good that there are few spots for all good players, like Raphinha, Vinicius Junior, Richarlison, Gabriel Jesus and Anthony. Casemiro and Lucas Paqueta are very importante also, being useful in the defense and in the attack at the same time.”

Expectations and key players according to Igor Siqueira, UOL Esporte:

Expectations:

“Brazil is really weel-prepared for the WC 2022. Even better then 2018. Tite had a complete cycle of 4 years to test variations, systems and, most importantly, “discover” new players, such as Antony and Raphinha, not to mention the development of Vini Jr. Neymar seems fully fit to acomplish his major objective: to win the sixth star for Brazil. Offensively, Brazil have skill, speed and creativity. In general, the defense remains strong, solid and mentally prepared, even though Thiago Silva is now a 38-year-old guy. But there are a few concerns about right and left backs. This is Brazil’s appearent weakness.”

Key players:

“Brazil is really well-prepared for the WC 2022. Even better then 2018. Tite had a complete cycle of 4 years to test variations, systems and, most importantly, “discover” new players, such as Antony and Raphinha, not to mention the development of Vini Jr. Neymar seems fully fit to acomplish his major objective: to win the sixth star for Brazil. Offensively, Brazil have skill, speed and creativity. In general, the defense remains strong, solid and mentally prepared, even though Thiago Silva is now a 38-year-old guy. But there are a few concerns about right and left backs. This is Brazil’s appearent weakness.”

Group fixtures

November 24: Brazil v Serbia.

November 28: Brazil v Switzerland.

December 2: Cameroon v Brazil.

Confirmed squad 

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool/ENG), Ederson (Manchester City/ENG), Weverton (Palmeiras).

Defenders: Dani Alves (Pumas/MEX), Danilo (Juventus/ITA), Alex Sandro (Juventus/ITA), Alex Telles (Sevilla/ESP), Bremer (Juventus/ITA), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Thiago Silva (Chelsea/ENG), Eder Militao (Real Madrid/ESP).

Midfielders: Casemiro (Manchester United/ENG), Fabinho (Liverpool/ENG), Fred (Manchester United/ENG), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle United/ENG), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham United/ENG).

Forwards: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid/ESP), Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Raphinha (Barcelona/ESP), Rodrygo (Real Madrid/ESP), Antony (Manchester United/ENG), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal/ENG), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal/ENG), Pedro (Flamengo).

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