The spiritual home of football, Brazil, will host this year's World Cup. With the rebuilding of the Maracanã Brazil will be hoping to build on their record holding five World Cup titles.
The World Cup is a tournament Brazil have enjoyed very much success in. Since 1938 Brazil have got to the semi-finals ten times. From those ten semi-finals, seven have been won and out of the seven finals, two have been lost. One in 1950 when Brazil last hosted the World Cup, losing to Uruguay. The other in 1998 to France.
Brazil will most likely be the hot favourites having won the Confederations Cup last year beating Spain in the final. This, of course combined with the fact that they are hosts. Brazil will face Croatia, Cameroon and Mexico in their group.
Brazil are currently ranked at 4th in the world behind Spain (1st), Germany (2nd) and Portugal (3rd), making Brazil the highest ranked team outside of Europe. Possible great matches they could have would be Argentina, Spain, Germany and maybe even England? A great rematch would be a repeat of the 1950 final, Brazil vs Uruguay.
Brazil have one of the biggest and fastest growing economies in the world however the poverty is still high, especially in the famous Favela slums which were highlighted in the hit film, 'City of God'. If Brazil can win the World Cup for a record sixth time then the 'City of Gods' may have new saints to praise.
In terms of whether Brazil will actually do it is still to be determined. But they certainly have what it takes. If Neymar, Thiago Silva and Fernandinho can step up and truly prove themselves as some of the best in their positions then they have a great chance. However there are questions over a few players.
Julio Cesar has only player Championship and MLS football this season and Ramires and Oscar have had dodgy ends to the season. However they are all great players and should be able to prove doubters wrong. Many were surprised that Lucas Moura didn't make the final 23 but on the standby list there's still a chance he'll make it.
The squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC, on loan from QPR), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Atletico Mineiro).
Defenders: Marcelo (Real Madrid), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (AS Roma), Maxwell, Thiago Silva (both Paris St-Germain), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Henrique (Napoli).
Midfielders: Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur), Ramires , Willian, Oscar (all Chelsea), Hernanes (Inter Milan), Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Fernandinho (Manchester City).
Forwards: Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Neymar (Barcelona), Fred (Fluminense), Jo (Atletico Mineiro), Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg).
Standby: Diego Cavalieri (Fluminese) Miranda, Filipe Luis (both Atletico Madrid), Rafinha (Bayern Munich), Lucas Leiva (Liverpool), Lucas Moura (Paris St-Germain), Alan Kardec (Sao Paulo).
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