The Brazilian Football Confederation has officially launched a bid to host the 2014 World Cup.
Ricardo Teixeira, the president of the CBF, signed a letter of intent and handed it to Fifa bosses at the Club World Cup in Tokyo on Wednesday.
He told Fifa's website: "It will be a unique opportunity for the Brazilian people who deserve to be the hosts."
South America is due to host the 2014 World Cup under a rotation system that starts in South Africa in 2010.
Five-time winners Brazil have been favourites to stage the tournament since 2003 when the nine other South American nations agreed to back them as the continent's only candidates.
The last time the World Cup was held in South America was in Argentina in 1978.
"That means that in 2014 it will be 36 years since the World Cup was last held in our continent," Teixeira added.
"This is very important not only for Brazilian football and our people but also for South America."
Brazil has hosted the World Cup once before - in 1950 when they lost 2-1 to Uruguay in the final.
Four previous World Cups have been held in South America - Uruguay 1930, Brazil 1950, Chile 1962 and Argentina 1978.