Brazil are back to reclaim their throne as they enter the Qatar World Cup as favourites with Neymar Jr potentially playing his last mega FIFA event. They looked like the most balanced side in the tournament with excellent depth in the squad. It’s been more than two decades since Brazil last won the glorious FIFA World Cup title. The iconic Ronaldo R9 inspired the legendary Brazilian squad to World Cup glory in 2002 which had the likes of Ronaldinho, Kaka, Rivaldo, and Cafu to mention a few. It was the record fifth World Cup title for the South American giants.
After that, Brazil didn’t live up to their reputations in the following mega-events. 2014 was the closest when they had a chance to win the trophy again but an injury to Neymar completely moved the momentum out of their favour. In the semifinal, they suffered a heartbreaking 7-1 defeat against Germany in front of their home fans.
In 2016, Tite took over the charge of Brazil’s football team after Dunga was sacked from the position following a poor show in Copa America.
Tite revamped the squad and built the team around Neymar to start the rejuvenation process. The likes of Phillipe Coutinho and Casemiro started giving some hope to Tite and Neymar to produce something special but the 2018 World Cup turned out to be a dud for them when they were knocked out by Belgium in Quarterfinals. It was a forgettable tournament for Neymar, especially who grabbed the limelight for all the wrong reasons. He dived on several occasions which made several fans turn on him.
The year 2019 turned out to be a crucial one for Brazil where they won the Copa America to end their long trophy drought. The South American giants started finding young talents who are the heir to the Samba style of football. However, they lost the Copa America final to rivals Argentina in 2021. It was a thrilling contest where Angel di Maria scored the lone goal to end Argentina’s 28-year wait for a major trophy.
Post the defeat in Copa America, Brazil’s team didn’t let their shoulders down and qualified for the World Cup by topping the South America qualifiers table.
Looking at their squad, the Seleção Canarinha have two of the best goalkeepers in the world – Allison, and Ederson. Both are world-class glovesmen but Brazil have picked the Liverpool man in the past and they might stick to it in the World Cup unless an injury forced them to use Ederson who is at part with him.
The defense might be the only area where are some concerns for them in the line-up. They have an aging Thiago Silva who is still very solid at the backline but struggled in tracking back. Marquinhos has been the pivotal part of this team in the last few years but looking at some of his performances in big matches at the club level, he sometimes crumbled easily under pressure. Eder Militao is another good option for Tite at center back. While Danilo is one player who has done anything big at club football but when it comes to the national side, he looks like a completely different player. Dani Alves is one experienced player in the defensive department who will keep the high spirits in the camp.
Brazil might play with two midfielders in the line-ups as Casemiro and Fred have the attributes to add value to both defense and attack. The duo is the workhorse in the squad and they will be crucial for Tite to function well on the big stage.
The South American giants have the best attackers in the world with the likes of Antony, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Neymar Jr, Raphinha, Richarlison, Rodrygo, and Vinicius Jr. All the attackers have the Brazilian flair and can bring the glory back. They have a problem of plenty in the attacking department as only Neymar is an undisputed started amongst them.
The depth in their attacking department will help them in crucial matches as players like Rodrygo have done extremely well as substitutes at club football. Raphinha is expected to start at right wing as he is known for landing the perfect crosses for the striker, while Richarlison will be the front man in the attacking line-up. The rising star of Real Madrid – Vinicius is expected to run the show from the left flank.
While Neymar will have the free role in the squad as he has to be a creative force in the line-up. He will have the job to find the back of the net by himself as a forward and make the moves for others to get the same results as a playmaker at the same time.
The PSG superstar has already indicated that the upcoming World Cup might be his last and he will give his all to get his hands on the glorious trophy.
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Weverton
Defenders: Bremer, Eder Militao, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Danilo, Daniel Alves, Alex Sandro, Alex Telles
Midfielders: Bruno Guimaraes, Casemiro Everton Ribeiro, Fabinho, Fred, Lucas Paqueta
Forwards: Pedro, Antony, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Neymar Jr, Raphinha, Richarlison, Rodrygo, and Vinicius Jr
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