Brazil will be heading to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup later this year, hoping to end a 20-year drought to get their hands on the biggest prize in the international game.
In 2002, Brazil brushed aside Germany 2-0 in the World Cup Final to land the title for the fifth time. The Samba Kings had a galaxy of stars in that incredible team that included the famous three Rs – Ronaldo, Rivaldo, and Ronaldinho.
Changes for Brazil
Naturally, a lot has changed since then, but Brazil can still count on a bounty of riches from an attacking perspective. While the final World Cup squad is likely to be trimmed over the next few months, Neymar, Raphinha, and Gabriel Jesus will give Brazil plenty of pizzazz in the future.
There is strength in depth in every department, and that extends to the goalkeepers. Alisson and Ederson are locked in an intense battle to get their hands on the No.1 jersey, with the duo among the best shot-stoppers in the Premier League.
The rebuilding process began in earnest six years ago when Dunga was fired, and under current coach Tite, Brazil looks revitalised. They now top the FIFA world rankings, and in securing a berth at the World Cup, they kept a clean sheet in 13 of their 17 qualifiers, averaging over 2.5 goals per game.Embed from Getty Images
In an interview with The Guardian recently, Tite admitted Brazil is the most ‘envied’ team.
He said: “An Italian coach mocked Miranda [Brazil defender at the 2018 World Cup: ‘How does it feel to be knocked out of the 2018 World Cup by Belgium?’
“I heard that from Miranda, and I told Miranda that he [the Italian coach] will never know this feeling because he never coached a nation like Brazil or even his own nation.
“This is envy. That’s why he asked him. Many people are jealous of Brazil. They don’t admit it. Perhaps it’s the most envied team in the world.”
Replicating the heights of 2002 will be a tough ask, but for a team of Brazil’s undeniable talent, it is astonishing that they have gone so long without winning the World Cup. The fortunes of the Samba kings have been well documented, and they have left an indelible mark on the tournament. They usually leave fans in awe, and their slick attacking play makes them easy to watch.
High Expectations for Brazil
Naturally, there will be a burden of expectation for Brazil to deliver, which will be reflected by the most reputable bookmakers. The best FIFA World Cup betting sites are popular in all regions around the globe, from Australia to India and beyond. At many of the most reputable sites, such as bet365, the odds for the outright winner market will be constantly updated in the run-up to the tournament. At the time of writing, Brazil is trading as the heavy favourite, although the likes of England, France, and Spain will have their own designs on hoisting the illustrious trophy.
For Brazil, it is all about creating a legacy. Comparing the current crop of players to the class of 2002 seems like a bit of a futile exercise as they haven’t won anything yet. If Brazil does triumph, then there will be a debate to be had. Maybe, just maybe, the stars might align for them this time.
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