Brazil will maintain their record as the only nation to feature at all 22 editions of the World Cup and, as is always the case, they cruised through qualification.
Although, this time, they were even more impressive than usual. A Seleção finished first in the CONMEBOL table, winning 14 of 17 matches and conceding just five goals. Their home match against Argentina, abandoned on 5 September in comical fashion, was never rescheduled. This though means Brazil have lost just five of their last 72 qualifiers, finishing top of the South American table in each of the last four cycles in which they’ve participated.
Of course, no team can match Brazil’s tally of five World Cup triumphs, lifting the trophy in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002.
However, since Cafu proudly hoisted the trophy aloft in Yokohama two decades ago, it’s been constant heartache, as they bid to add a sixth star to their crest. A Seleção have gone out in the quarter-finals at three of the last four editions, most recently dumped out by Belgium four years ago. The sole exception to this came on home soil when, famously, they were demolished 7-1 by Germany in, arguably, the most humiliating defeat in football history.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, Brazil were perceived as an invincible team but, in Qatar, they’ll be looking for their first knockout stage win over European opposition since that 2002 final.
Brazil World Cup 2022 Tips
Read the latest Brazil odds ahead of the World Cup, including their odds to win the tournament, odds to claim the golden boot, 101 Great Goals’ top tip and more 2022 World Cup predictions and tips.
Brazil World Cup Predictions
Brazil could add to their five World Cups in Qatar. Along with a richly-talented squad at their disposal, weather conditions could be more suited to their squad than some of the European nations. This could be an under-appreciated factor in the tournament.
Brazil Golden Boot Prediction
With 75 goals in 121 appearances, Neymar has been a great player for Brazil but is yet to dominate a global event in the way some of the great Brazilians of the past have. He already has six World Cup goals to his name and this time has a rich array of talent alongside him in the line-up, which could boost his chances. This could be his year to shine.
Tite is the first Brazil manager since Telê Santana in the 1980s to get a second World Cup in charge, despite not winning the first. After the 2018 quarter-final exit, Tite appeared to be a dead man walking, but the following summer’s Copa América triumph vindicated the CFS’s faith in him.
Stylistically, Tite’s biggest challenge is to construct a balanced Brazil team. In tougher matches, expect to see a Manchester United-centric midfield double-pivot of Casemiro and Fred. However, in games where Brazil will dominate the ball, Casemiro is often deployed as a single number six, with Lucas Paquetá coming in as part of a front five.
In attack, Neymar is the number 10, flanked by Raphinha and Vinícius Júnior; not bad.
Since Ronaldo in 2006, Brazil haven’t really had a reliable number nine but this year, Richarlison and Gabriel Jesus are fighting it out for that spot. The Tottenham man was seemingly in the driving seat, but his recent calf injury could change that.
In goal, Alisson is, and has always been, Tite’s man, chosen over Ederson, with Marquinhos and Thiago Silva the usual centre-back pairing, Éder Militão thereby missing out. Aside from France, no country can boast as much talent as Brazil; will they be able to find the winning formulae?
Total appearances: 21
First qualification: 1930
Most recent: 2018
Best achievement: Winners (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
World Ranking: 1
Overall record: P109, W73, D18, L18
Back in 2014, Brazil’s World Cup campaign fell apart when Neymar suffered that tournament-ending injury in the quarter-final against Colombia.
Eight years on, this team isn’t all about Neymar; he’s now one of many exceptionally talented players. With Vinicius Jr. and Raphinha on the wings, Neymar can be deployed centrally, given very little, if any, defensive responsibility.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward’s international goal scoring record speaks for itself. He’s now netted 75 goals, two short of Pelé's long-standing record, while only 11 men have scored more at international level.
Of players to have scored at least once at a World Cup, only Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Ferenc Puskás and Pelé have scored more for this countries. Without the weight of an entire nation on his shoulders and his alone, the best version of Neymar could be on show in Qatar. He’s certainly coming into form nicely, having enjoyed a fine season for PSG so far.
101′s Brazil World Cup Tip
Before a ball is kicked in Qatar, Brazil are favourites to win the tournament, and rightly so.
They’re priced at 4/1 to lift the trophy and, as the tournament gets going, that price is only likely to fall. Before then, Tite’s team will face tough opponents Serbia and Switzerland, so backing them to get exactly seven points at 2/1 could be good value.
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