As Brazil look ahead to the 2014 World Cup, the expectations are beginning to grow as an entire nation will be expecting the Selecao to win an unprecedented sixth World Cup at home. This desire will be apparent during the 2013 Confederations Cup. Surely, the Brazilians will enter the tournament with a point to prove as they aim to send out a message to their rivals by winning their third straight Confederations Cup on the trot and fourth overall.
After Mano Menezes’ failure to win the elusive Olympic Gold that Brazilian football lacks in London last summer, the coach was sacked and former Brazilian boss Luiz Felipe Scolari was installed. Scolari was considered the ideal man to lead Brazil’s charge for World Cup glory, having already achieved that feat with the team in 2002 in his first spell with the national team.
Questions abound as to how far this team can go next June. As with any Brazilian side, there is a great deal of quality and skill, but the burning question is whether this is a strong enough team to beat the elite national sides in world football. The team’s performances at the Confederations Cup could provide some answers, but as always nothing short of a victory in this tournament and with some samba style to boot will placate the critics.
Coach: Luiz Felipe Scolari
The highlight of his career was certainly leading Brazil to the sought-after ‘penta’, won at the 2002 World Cup. Now Scolari returns to repeat the trick with the national team eleven years on. The 64-year-old went on to coach Portugal for five years between 2003 and 2008 leading them to the final of Euro 2004 and the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup. After a difficult spell with Chelsea he coached Budyonkor (where he was the world’s highest-paid manager) and Palmeiras.
He has been a journeyman coach who has spent time with no less than 18 teams, though he has found success at a number of those clubs and of course at international level. Scolari’s motivational ability and knack for getting the best out of young and experienced players alike will be needed for Brazil to succeed and regain their position as the world’s top team.
Key Player: Neymar
International football’s next big thing begins an important phase of his career come the Confederations Cup. The tournament will mark Neymar’s first competition since making his move from Santos to Barcelona. After scoring goals for fun in Brazil for both club and country, Neymar will now be under even greater scrutiny as the world awaits to see how he fares playing in Europe.
Undoubtedly one of the world’s top attacking talents, Neymar’s ball skills and one-on-one play have already been on display in Brazil for many years, with the 21-year-old having scored 135 goals in four seasons with Santos in all competitions. For Brazil, his strike rate is even better with 20 goals from just over 30 appearances.
Nothing more than a talented YouTube sensation say some, while others believe he is the next best player in the world. This upcoming tournament and season will help tip the scales of who is right with regard to this intriguing star.
>>>Bet on the Confederations Cup at Inside Bet!
View from Brazil
The expectations from Brazilian supporters are sky-high for this tournament. Brazil must win and they must do so with flair. Anything less will lead to unsatisfied fans, especially for a tournament that will be held in Brazil. It remains to be seen whether the magnitude of these expectations will be a burden or motivation for Scolari’s bunch. One thing is for sure, Brazilian fans will turn out in great numbers and vibrant colors and provide huge home support for their beloved Selecao.
This is a huge tournament for Brazil. Not only in so far as showing an ability to successfully organise a warm-up to the World Cup, but for the team themselves on the pitch in proving they can challenge for next year’s World Cup. There are questions about defensive frailties, experience, and mental toughness, however there is also cause for optimism as some young stars are beginning to emerge as leaders.
Scolari could be the motivator this side need and if they can keep it tight at the back, this team have players who can create and score goals. If all goes well, a place in the final against potentially Spain is an exciting possibility and judging by Brazil’s recent Confederations Cup success, it would be no surprise to see this team lifting the trophy come 30th June at the Estadio do Maracana.
Confederations Cup Guide – Every Team Previewed!
Betting on the Confederations Cup? Pay Inside Bet a visit first!