Brazil was one of the first teams to qualify for the World Cup. In the South American Qualifiers, they won 14 out of 17 games, drew 3 and lost 0. They scored 40 goals and conceded only five. Considering that Brazil is also the no. 1 team in the FIFA rankings, they are one of the main favorites to win the World Cup.
How do they play?
Tite is a coach who is all about discipline. There’s not much left of Brazil’s samba style of “you can score, but we’ll score more”. Brazil still plays optimistic and attacking football, but is very disciplined while doing so. The lustful play simply stems from the fact that the players are of such high quality. This means that Tite has not eradicated Brazil’s technical quack from the team, but simply placed it in a more modern frame. Brazil also hates long passes. Only seven (!) countries played fewer long balls per 90 minutes during the Qualifiers.
Why they can win?
If you look at Brazil’s squad, you’ll find that each position is filled by world-class footballers. Tite can comfortably field a starting 11 consisting of only top players from top leagues. All signs point that this squad is capable of making a deep run or even going all the way.
Why they can lose?
Somewhat surprisingly, Brazil’s midfield is their weakest part. Of course, their midfielders don’t lack quality and can control any game but Brazil desperately needs somebody to play to classical number 8. Maybe Bruno Guimaraes, who is doing great things at Newcastle United? Maybe, but he is also ideally more defensively oriented.
The leading stars
Of course, the team’s biggest star is Neymar, who can become the all-time top scorer for Brazil during the World Cup. He enters the tournament having accumulated an impressive 75 goals in 121 games. The squad’s spiritual leader and captain is 38-year-old Thiago Silva, who shows no signs of fatigue and is still a top-class centre-back.
The fresh faces
Brazil is teeming with young players for whom this is only their first big tournament. Real Madrid and Barcelona’s attackers Vinicius, Rodrygo, and Raphinha, are worth taking a closer look at. All of them have been in good shape for their respective clubs and will try to transfer it to the national team as well. Manchester United’s winger Antony, who transferred from Ajax to England for a whopping 95 million euros, can also play a big role in Brazil’s success.