The World Cup is imminent, in just over a months’ time all of the world’s eyes will be focusing solely on Brazil. So can the host nation reach the lofty expectations beset them and win what would be a sixth World Cup?
Well they are favourites in the football betting to be crowned world champions and with good reason. This really is Brazil’s World Cup to lose.
Let us start with the squad. Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has recently named his 23-man World Cup squad, which on paper looks unduly strong. With a strike-force containing Neymar, one of the favourites with Betfair to win the Golden Boot, and Hulk, we can expect to see the Seleção score goals a plenty, even more so when you consider that the strikers will have Oscar, Willian, Ramires and numerous other quality midfielders setting up chances for them.
But, somewhat surprisingly, the main strength of the Brazilian squad is their defence. In Marcelo and Daniel Alves they arguably have two of the best full-backs in the world, while Thiago Silva is the best centre-back in the world and David Luiz and Dante are also top defenders. It is this steel in the back that will carry Brazil to world dominion. It will allow the front players to flourish as they know they have an expert defence behind them. Right now Brazil have the best defenders in the world and this will pay dividends this summer just like Italy’s defence carried them to victory in 2006.
That bring us on to the man who picks the squad, Scolari is without shadow of a doubt the best man to guide Brazil to World Cup success, he’s done it before. Back in 2002, “Big Phil” guided Brazil to world success in expert fashion, and if anyone can replicate that success it is himself. Scolari is a man manager and a man that players actively want to play for, it is this affinity between the player and coach that gives Brazil a huge opportunity. Both are willing to fight and if they do they are more than likely to win.
Of course bookmakers like Betfair favour Brazil because of their home support, and rightly so. Home support should prove to be the catalyst in Brazil’s World Cup putsch. Playing with a baying crowd behind you is a huge advantage and one that no other team competing possesses. You really cannot play down the importance of the 12th man. This thunderous support will spurn Brazil on whilst intimidating the opposition, and it is very much the final piece of Brazil’s World Cup winning puzzle.
This is the time for the Seleção. It is their best squad since their 2002 success, they have the best possible manager and more importantly they have 201,032,714 fans behind them.