There is still an omen that circulates when people speak of Brazil and the World Cup.
That being, of course, the 7-1 defeat in the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup at the hands of Germany.
The greatest defeat in the history of Brazilian soccer happened four years ago and on the biggest stage of them all. To make matters worse, that happened when it was Brazil’s turn to host the global tournament.
The defeat shattered fan support, and left a bad taste in Brazilian mouth’s for years.
This tournament is a crucial stepping stone in Brazilian soccer. It serves as the opportunity to see how a team that is as stacked as they come deals with unyielding pressure, lack of faith and doubt.
However, five-time World Champions Brazil has done what needs to be done to prepare their team for this tournament from the bottom up.
In net enters Alisson, the first choice of both Brazil and his club Roma. The second choice keeper, Manchester City’s Ederson, could easily find his name in the starting sheet for various teams making the trip to Russia.
Sitting in front of Alisson continues a stout and strong lineup. Marcelo and Dani Alves sit on the outside will the inside pair of Thiago Silva, who missed the infamous 7-1 defeat, and Paris St. Germain’s Marquinhos.
The bite of Brazil lies in what goes forward. While Neymar maybe considered the best in the world at some times, his supporting cast is not short of big names.
Interchangeable and skillful are the two best words to describe a list of midfield and forwards of players like: Philippe Countinho, Gabriel Jesus, Paulinho, Willian, Roberto Firmino, Douglas Costa, Casemiro, Fernandinho, and even Shaktar Donetsk’s Fred.
Brazil bring a squad that is experienced and ready, hopeful and focused, confident and humble.
The team is captained by Neymar, who now has experience of being the main leading man since leaving Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi and Barcelona last season.
The Brazilians enter Russia as one of the two most feared teams in the tournament. The tournament offers redemption for the squad that bested Germany 1-0 in a friendly on Tuesday, March 27 behind a first half Jesus header.
A strong performance this summer can cement the Seleção as the only team to win the World Cup a record-breaking six times.