The men’s national football team from Brazil are the heavy favourites. They have an enviable history at the World Cup having won the tournament on 5 occasions, the last one being in 2002.
In Russia 2018, there is no weakness to be found. They are filled with exceptionally talented players that have experienced great success in 2017-2018 with their club teams, some together.
In goal, Ederson has backstopped his club team Manchester City F.C. through a record-setting season in the English Premier League. On a personal level, he narrowly missed out on the Premier League Golden Glove after collecting 16 clean sheets in 36 appearances.
In defense, Dani Alves is injured and he has been ruled out of the tournament. But this group is still capable of conceding very few goals. Thiago Silva and Marquinhos offer an established partnership since they belong to the same club team, Paris St.Germain, the Ligue 1 champions of 2017-2018. Marcelo will be expected to provide a consistent threat on the left side that will challenge most opponents.
In midfield, Paulinho, Fernandinho, and Casemiro will provide stability in front of the back four while covering for Marcelo’s forward dashes. The latter two have a great understanding of each other given their time at Real Madrid F.C., Champions League winners for the past three seasons.
In forward, Coutinho and Willian are two serious threats to score from the midfield. Alternatively, they can provide for Gabriel Jesus, Firmino, and Costa. One forward that needs little service or introduction is Neymar, 3rd on the list of goals scored by a Brazilian. While he is returning from a major foot injury, Neymar must create chances in the first game against Switzerland or risk exacerbating the doubt that accompanies athletes upon their return from a major injury.
With all of this talent and experience, they have the individual and collective mindset to win their 6th World Cup title in Russia.
More evidence is found in the mindset of the players, especially their leader – Thiago Silva who is quoted below:
“Many times we try to change it, but we can’t. Me personally I don’t want to change it, I’d rather that all happens naturally. Things happened, good or bad, but naturally. We have to learn that not everyone deserves our tears. You have to do the right thing even if someone mocks you.”
“Our final goal is to be the world champions, but there’s a long road ahead to play a great World Cup and finish it the best way possible: with the trophy.”
This quote shows a mindset that accepts the lessons of the past, namely the embarrassing 7-1 defeat to Germany on home soil. There is an aura of revenge when we read that others have been mocking the national team and winning the 2018 World Cup is the captains only focus – a true sign of assertiveness.
In all, the Brazilian national team suffered an embarrassing exit in 2014 on home soil but they will be a fighting team that plays with their heart and they will give everything for their country. This is terrible news for the remaining 31 teams in Russia.