When the World Cup kicks off next summer most eyes of football fans will be focused on a certain team in yellow .If football were a brand one could say Brazil are the brand ambassadors. They’ve easily been the greatest and most popular team in the sport having won the tournament 5 times and produced countless legends in the past who have lit up the competition. Their dominance can be dated back to 1958 , a 19 year old Pele announced himself to the world and led Brazil to their first trophy. 4 years later in 1962 they cruised to their 2nd trophy with Garrincha – a tricky forward in the starring role. The next trophy came in 1970 under Pele’s captaincy with the support Rivelino and Jairzinho.
Brazil then returned to winning ways after a long period in 1994 which saw the prolific forward Romario winning the golden ball. In the coming years Brazil saw themselves cement themselves as the world’s best yet again- fuelled by the 3 R’s – Ronaldo Ronaldinho and Rivaldo, they finished runners up in 1998 and won it for a record 5th time in 2002(Ronaldo cemented himself as one of the greatest forwards in World Cup history by winning the golden boot)
The next few tournaments were pretty unforgettable for the team with Ronaldo setting the record for most goals in World Cup history in 2006 (broken by Miroslav Klose in 2014), the shambolic 7-1 defeat to Germany and Neymar’s inspiring performance in 2014 being the major talking points.Fast forward to present time and Brazil inevitably look like a strong unit once again. They were rampant on their route to qualification back in March this year and were boosted by the strong performances of Gabriel Jesus(7 goals), Neymar and Paulinho(6 goals).
The squad composition is strong and balanced, defenders like Marcelo and Thiago Silva are seasoned campaigners which sets up base for the flashy attackers like Neymar, Coutinho, Jesus and Willian to strut their stuff. In today’s footballing game the role of the midfielders is as dynamic as ever and Brazil possess players like Casemiro, Fernandinho Augusto and Paulinho to do the dirty work.
If Brazil want to live up to the expectations and hype surrounding them these players will be crucial to their success-
Casemiro – The young midfielder signed by Real Madrid in 2015 has a lot to be proud after being a mainstay in the squad over the last couple of highly successful years for the club. He plays as a dominant holding midfielder. He sets up the base for other players to push forward in Madrid.Under the guidance of Zidane he has undoubtedly added to his aesthetic side of football as well. Not only will he act as the foundation for all attacks but will also shield and bolster the Brazilian defence which has often been described as shaky in recent times
Philippe Coutinho- This silky playmaker has lit up the Premier League for quite a while donning the red of Liverpool. He has it all – goals, assists, set pieces and a fit Coutinho could cause havoc and single handedly win them some games. A lot is expected from him with rumours of a big money transfer to Spain alive and kicking and taking a chance of this big opportunity is a must for this player.
Neymar- He showed flashes of what he can do back in the 2014 World Cup and since then has only grown as a player and superstar. Alongside Messi and Suarez in Spain he formed the deadliest trio in the world – MSN. This season he’s started extremely well in Paris after a record breaking deal. Neymar has taken his game to the next level often making the French League look like a cakewalk for a player of his capabilities. A solid performance next summer could help him as he strives for greatness and maybe even the Ballon D’or?
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