Having qualified automatically as hosts, the five-time Champions will once again be looking to prove their mettle as the best in the world. This time round, A SeleÃÂ§ÃÂ£o have good reason to be confident of their defensive abilities, having kept 3 clean sheets during their Confederations Cup triumph last June and only conceding 2 in the subsequent 8 friendlies. Seemingly unstoppable in front of goal, their comprehensive 3-0 victory over reigning World Champions Spain in the Confederations Cup Final is perhaps the greatest testament to the quality of the squad right now.
Contributing largely to their defensive solidity is Thiago Silva, who has been an absolute rock at the back for both club and country. Captain for both Paris Saint Germain and Brazil, his strong leadership qualities will be crucial if the Samba Kings are to lift the trophy for a sixth time. Talented full backs have always been in abundance for Brazil and this summer is no different.
Daniel Alves and Marcelo will look to provide crosses from the wings and their experience at the highest club level will be invaluable in defence.
It goes without saying that all eyes will be on poster boy Neymar in Rio this summer, as he spearheads the Brazilian attack. Still only 22, he has been labelled 'the key to Brazil's hopes' by all-time highest goalscorer Pele. The world will be watching with abated breath to see if he can shrug off off-field controversies to step up and shine on the biggest stage of them all.
How they will do
Croatia and Mexico could be tricky fixtures as they have proven more than a handful for top teams, but the Brazilians should fully expect to emerge from Group A in a buoyant mood. Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari...