While it is wrong to suggest that Brazil are completely lacking the flair associated with some of their previous World Cup teams, the omission of Ronaldinho is a statement of intent by manager Dunga, who won the 1994 World Cup as a player. The former defensive midfielder has sculpted a side with more steel than teams of yesteryear but he can still call upon the likes of Kaka, Robinho and their marauding full-backs for attacking verve.
With just one defeat in 24 games, they look well set for a sixth World Cup victory, with Dunga selecting several players who failed to make a long-term impact in the Premier League such as former Arsenal man Julio Baptista, Kleberson (at Manchester United), and Elano and Robinho (Manchester City).
Aim: To win. That is always the minimum requirement at any World Cup for Brazil.
THREE KEY PLAYERS
MAICON Continuing in a long line of formidable Brazilian full-backs, the Inter Milan star is not so much a defender as one of Brazil's first outlets for attack. Only two players in Serie A had more assists than Maicon last season and if he were not enough, his competition at right-back is Barcelona's Dani Alves.
LUCIO The captain already has a World Cup winner's medal from 2002 and Inter boss Jose Mourinho was quick to snap him up two seasons ago after he fell out with Bayern Munich manager Louis van Gaal. Lucio, like Inter team-mates Maicon and goalkeeper Julio Cesar, goes into the World Cup as a Serie A and Champions League winner.
ROBINHO Included in the squad despite being overshadowed at Santos by team-mates Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso, Robinho is still the property of Manchester City so will be looking to impress in South Africa. Although his club form has suffered he started all but three of Brazil's qualifying matches.
DUNGA was given the coach's role as a relative novice after the disappointment of the 2006 World Cup but Brazil have since won the 2007 Copa America and the 2009 Confederations Cup. Indeed they have only lost five matches in four years so he has the record to back up his own rhetorical questions such as: "Will people be satisfied if Brazil loses the World Cup in their effort to be spectacular?"
ADOPT THEM BECAUSE...
Brazil have won the World Cup in every continent it has been staged, with wins in South America, North America, Europe and Asia. Winning it in Africa would complete the set.
HOW THEY QUALIFIED
Brazil's World Cup qualifying highlights
D 0-0 Colombia (A) W 5-0 Ecuador (H) D 1-1 Peru (A) W 2-1 Uruguay (H) L 2-0 Paraguay (A) D 0-0 Argentina (H) W 3-0 Chile (A) D 0-0 Bolivia (H) W 4-0 Venezuela (A) D 0-0 Colombia (H) D 1-1 Ecuador (A) W 3-0 Peru (H) W 4-0 Uruguay (A) W 2-1 Paraguay (H) W 3-1 Argentina (A) W 4-2 Chile (H) L 2-1 Bolivia (A) D 0-0 Venezuela (H) Qualified in first place in South American standings
WORLD CUP BEST
1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002: With their five wins, Brazil are the most successful team in World Cup history.
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