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Jun 11, 2014

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. Jim Rohn

A look through the odds set by the leading betting houses would give a picture of the front runners at this World cup. It does not surprise anyone to see Brazil placed on the top, with an odd of 3/1. Argentina surprisingly (at least for me!) is placed second at 4/1 ahead of Germany at 6/1 and Spain at 13/2. One may argue about placing Argentina ahead of Germany and Spain (may be the location being in South America mattered) but there is no argument about Brazil being favourites. They have been the favourites from the time they thrashed Spain at last year's confederation cup. Many pundits believe that they have got the most balanced squad in the competition and some even believe that they will just annihilate every opposition in the path.

Traditionally World Cup have been very kind to the host who has a decent side. There are numerous instances of host team winning the World Cup starting with Uruguay in 1930, Italy in 34, the lone English triumph in 1966, West Germany in 1974, Argentina in 1978 and France in 98. So it's natural that the expectation on this Brazilian side is sky high. But again Brazilians will do well if they remember what happened at the 1950 World cup, where the Uruguayans defeated the host for the World title. Brazil have solidly put that set back behind them winning five titles and becoming the most successful team in the World Cup.

The 23 men Brazilian squad selected by Scolari is :

GoalKeepers: Jefferson, Júlio César, Victor.
Defenders: Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Dante, Maxwell, Henrique, Maicon.
Midfielders: Fernandinho, Paulinho, Oscar, Ramires, Luiz Gustavo, Willian, Hernanes, Bernard.
Forwards: Hulk, Fred, Jo, Neymar.

The quality is the side is unquestionable. We all know how Brazil will play. They always have played one way. The defense will line up with Luiz and Silva flanked by two flying full backs in Alves and Marcelo. The two flying full back could expose the defense to a genuine share of counter attacks usually. But Scolari has a safety net for that with two defensive midfielders mostly in the form of Pauliho and Willian. The rest of the side will pick itself with Oscar, Ramires, Neymar and Hulk. That's a scary first eleven for any opposition. But as we have seen in the preview of other contenders most of the top teams have more or less similar qualities on the side. What separates Brazil here is the quality of each individual, everyone capable of changing the match on their own.

Neymar, Brazil’s best player will once again spearhead the title challenge as he has done in last year's Confederation Cup. But regardless of the quality on the side it won't be that easy for Brazil. Some said that Brazil had an easy group to start with. But disagree completely there. Croatia is no push over and Mexico on their day would be a handful. Even then it would be a huge surprise not to see Brazil top Group A of FIFA World Cup 2014. The final group position most probably will be decided on the opening day itself when Brazil takes on Croatia.

The factors that could affect Brazil's campaign most probably will happen outside the stadium. Already we have seen huge Protest movement happening against the wasteful spending associated with the World Cup. The politicians would be hoping for the magic of Brazil's performances pacify the protester. So the first time the Brazilian team could have huge political pressure. They will be burdened by the knowledge that a less than popular result in any match will take the focus back to the protests. Even though protests happened during Confederation Cup the Brazilian team didn't felt the pressure. But this time around this will be different.

And then there is that small factor of "Confederation Cup" curse. In the history of FIFA not even a single time Confederation Cup winner have gone on to win the World Cup. The cup was introduced from 1997 and Brazil has won it most of the time. But they have failed spectacularly at the World Cup in the following year. They have been the Confederation Champions for the last three times and had teh best squad in the previous two world cups, but still went out in Quarter-Finals. Can the current team overturn that? One reason why the Confederation Cup winners struggle at the subsequent World cup could be peaking too early. To an extent this is true with this Brazilian side. The likes of Alves and Marcelo in defense have been a shadow of what they were a year ago. Even in midfield Paulinho, Ramires all had a not so great season. The marquee player Neymar was affected by issues on and off the field. The confederation Cup squad had majority of players playing in Brazil, but most have moved to Europe now. That means tiredness also would be a factor after a gruelling season. Will still the Samba Magic Still Work?

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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