Whilst England might claim to have invented football, it’s Brazil who have certainly made success in the game their own.
The Selecao have won five World Cups, eight Copa Americas and three Confederations Cups during their 1000-games, reaching the magical four figures during last night’s 1-1 friendly draw against Colombia.
And, whilst the clash in America didn’t go exactly to plan for Mano Menezes’ side, the Samba stars have much bigger challenges ahead – most notably the World Cup on home soil in 2014.
The big challenge for Menezes is upholding the great traditions that Brazil have become famous for over the years. Always attacking with plenty of flare in the side, this great nation has produced more than its fair share of fantastic footballers.
And, with 1000 games now behind them, GiveMeFootball decided to pick the all-time greatest side in Brazilian football history.
An unenviable task, plenty of world-class players failed to make the cut. That said, every player is deserving of their place in the side – even if one is still in his early 20s! Don’t forget to leave us your thoughts on the team below:
Gylmar dos Santos Neves – Goalkeeper
A domestic legend with Corinthians and Santos, Gilmar earned 94 caps for Brazil between 1953 and 1969, winning the World Cup in consecutive tournaments (1958 and 1962).
Cafu – Right Back
The most capped player in Brazilian football history (142), Cafu played in the 1994 World Cup final and captained his nation to glory in 2002.
Lucio – Centre Back
During his 11-years playing for Brazil, Lucio won 105 caps for his nation. His finest moment came alongside Cafu at the 2002 World Cup, where he was instrumental in the nation’s success.
Dunga – Centre Back
More notably a defensive midfielder, the former player and manager slots in at the back for this GiveMeFootball XI. Won the World Cup in 1994, as well as two Copa Americas during an 11-year international career.
Roberto Carlos – Left Back
A 125-cap international and the most dynamic left back in football history, Carlos was as much an attacking threat as he was defensive during his 14-year career with the Selecao. Won two World Cups.
Garrincha – Right Wing
Arguably the greatest winger of all-time, the Botafogo legend won consecutive World Cups in 1958 and 1962. His international testimonial was attended by 131,000 people.
Zico – Centre Midfield
An attacking midfielder with an amazing eye for goal, Zico scored 52 goals in just 72 games for his country in the late 70s and 80s. He never won the World Cup.
Ronaldinho – Centre Midfield
A prodigious talent with the skill to beat any defender, Ronaldinho is back in the Brazil fold and chasing a century of caps. He made his debut in 1999, and won the World Cup three years laters.
Neymar – Left Wing
True, the Santos sensation still has plenty to prove, but he’s already shown that he’s a football superstar. The weigh of a nation will rest on his shoulders during the 2014 World Cup.
Ronaldo – Centre Forward
The greatest striker of his generation, Ronaldo was part of the 1994 World Cup winning squad, but really burst onto the international stage at France ’98. Glory came four-years later, and he scored 62 goals during his international career.
Pele – Centre Forward
Whether he’s the greatest of all-time remains up for debate, but for his country he certainly delivered the goods, scoring 77 goals in 92 games and winning two World Cups.
Substitutes: Claudio Taffarel, Carlos Alberto, Nilton Santos, Rivaldo, Zizinho, Tostao, Romario.