Brazil; the most successful nation at a World Cup, they have won it five times and have been at every finals that have been held since the inaugural tournament in 1930.
Their first win came in 1958 in Sweden, they tournament where Pele became a star. They then retained the Jules Rimet trophy in Chile in 1962, and won it for a third time with a 4-0 victory over Italy in 1970.
Brazil then failed to win the trophy again until 1994 and completed their record haul of five with victory in Korea/Japan in 2002.
Fast-forward to 2013, and Brazil are a year away from hosting the event for a second time. Luiz Felipe Scolari who led the team to victory in 2002, is their current manager, and has the task of trying to bring a sixth title to the South American country. Yet, this is by no means a vintage Brazilian side.
When you look at their past winning sides, their squads were made up of top quality players, who were at the prime of their careers, possibly apart from 1958 squad, where players Pele and Garrincha took centre stage.
The 1958 squad also had Vava, and Mario Zagallo, who would himself go on to manage a Brazilian World Cup winning side. The 1962 team, relied on what they knew from ‘58 and with Pele brutally kicked out of the tournament, still managed to retain the trophy.
The 1970 team is still spoken about to this day, with one of the greatest passing-move goals of all time. Pele now at the height of his powers was surrounded by players that became legends, such as Jarzinho, Carlos Alberto, Gerson, Rivelino and Tostao, as Brazil tasted victory again and took home the trophy, for good. The 1982 team has been spoken of as the best never to have won, again boasting talents of Socrates, Zico and Falcao to name a few.
The 1994 team was blessed with attacking width and natural goal scorers, with a solid core. Romario and Bebeto led the line, with Dunga offering the strength in the middle and Cafu and Leonardo offering the width. The 2002 World Cup was all about the front trio of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, this was the latter’s break out performance.
When looking at the current squad; Brazil seem to lack that something that strikes as a side that can win a World Cup. Yes, they have Neymar, yet unlike former Brazilian strikers, say Ronaldo, he is wholly untested on the biggest of stage.
The squad still has some very talented players, Oscar and Ramires of Chelsea, Lucas Moura and Thiago Silva at Paris St. Germain, not forgetting Hulk and Dani Alves amongst others.
This team just doesn’t seem to have the ability and perhaps star power of past squads. When comparing this side and Scolari’s last side, the 2002 team on paper, which boasted Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Cafu and Lucio just seems stronger than a side that has Neymar, Ramires, Marcelo, a 33-year=old Ronaldinho and David Luiz, to name just a selection.
It is a testing time for Brazil and everyone knows that failure will not go down well in Rio.
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