FIFA ranking: 2
How they qualified: Finished top of CONMEBOL qualifying
World Cup appearances: 20
Best result: Winners (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
Brazil has qualified for every FIFA World Cup they entered, never requiring a qualifying play-off. With five titles, they have won the tournament on more occasions than any other national team. Brazil is the only national team to have played in all FIFA World Cup editions without having any absence. The Canarinho have never lacked talent amongst their ranks with players such as the legendary Pelé, Zico, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Romário, Cafu, Roberto Carlos and Neymar just to name a few. Brazil reached Russia with an impressing qualifying campaign where they topped their group qualifying by 10 points, only losing one game and scoring 41 goals along the way.
Brazil’s transformation since Tite arrived in June 2016 has been nothing short of remarkable. Sixth in the CONMEBOL standings when he took over, they won nine consecutive games to become the first side to join hosts Russia at the finals. Tite will hope to emulate his FIFA Club World Cup 2012 title with Corinthians in Russia.
Brazil’s golden boy is arguably the best player after the remarkable duo of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. A FIFA Confederations Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist, Neymar is set to make his second appearance at a World Cup. Neymar popped up with 6 goals to help Brazil reach the 2018 World Cup and will be hoping to lead his country to their sixth World Cup title.
World Cup Chances
Drawn in a group with Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia, Brazil should not have any trouble reaching the knockout stages. They have been in extraordinary form in the last year and are ranked as second in the FIFA rankings. With a squad that includes world-class players all over the pitch, including the most expensive goalkeeper in the history in Ederson Moraes, the ‘Pelé’ of goalkeepers Alisson, PSG centre-back pair Marquinhos and Thiago Silva, Real Madrid’s attacking full-back Marcelo, Manchester City’s midfield warrior Fernandinho, Liverpool’s sharp-shooter Roberto Firmino, and world’s two most expensive players Philippe Coutinho and Neymar, Brazil will be hoping Neymar can find his form after an injury he suffered back in February and lead the Canarinho to a World Cup success that evaded them in their last World Cup that they hosted.
Both Manchester clubs are believed to be keen on the 25-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder, with rumours going back all the way to January. Manchester City were thought to be ready to seal a deal for the Brazilian back in January with Fred joining the Citizens this summer, but that was not meant to be, and media outlets now suggest that Manchester United are ready to beat their bitter rivals with a £50m offer. Fred’s agent and advisor is former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva who has confirmed his client wants to move to England, so is a move to Manchester on the cards?