New Delhi: Brazil are the overwhelming favourites to win their sixth FIFA World Cup thanks to the array of stars in their lineup.
Since winning their fifth title at Korea/Japan 2002 they have been in top form occupying the top rank.
Brazil followed up their 2002 FIFA World Cup success with victory in the 2004 Copa America, FIFA Confederations Cup 2005 and also topped in the South American qualifying group for Germany 2006.
Coached by Carlos Alberto Parreira, Brazil are spoilt for choice in almost every department of the game and are the only team to have qualified for every single FIFA World Cup.
Even history favours them as they have reached the final of the last three FIFA World Cup and won two of those.
However, they had the dubious distinction of becoming the first defender having to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
In Ronaldinho, who has been voted the FIFA World Player of the Year for two years in running, they have the best player in their ranks.
Along with Ronaldo, one of the top strikers and the winner of the FIFA World Player of the Year award thrice, Ronaldinho makes one of the most lethal combination in world soccer today.
Inspite of always having a very strong team, the Brazilians had to wait till the 1958 edition in Sweden to claim their first title where one of the greats of football, Pele, was born.
And with that win started the era of Brazilian domination that saw them winning three titles in four editions.
With their win in 1970 at Mexico, Brazil earned the right to keep the Jules Rimet Trophy after having won it three times.
The samba brigade had to wait for 24 years to claim their next FIFA World Cup triumph when they edged out Italy on penalties in the 1994 edition in USA after the first goalless final in the competition's history.
At Korea/Japan 2002, Brazil powered by the three Rs – Rivaldo, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho – claimed their fifth title.
Their coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has one of the best track records among all the soccer coaches.
He was the fitness coach with the Mexico 1970 side and has also guided Kuwait at Spain 1982 and the United Arab Emirates at Italia 1990.
The Brazilian team is made up of the whos who of world football and some of the stars who wear the yellow jersey are Cafu, Cicinho, Roque Junior, Juan, Lucio, Roberto Carlos, Emerson, Juninho Pernambucano, Julio Baptista, Robinho, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Adriano and Ronaldo.
Ronaldo also has a date with history as he will be ithching to overtake Germany's Gerd Muller to become the leading scorer in the history of the FIFA World Cup when he goes to Germany.
Brazilian team at a glance
|Affiliated to FIFA||1923|
|FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking||1|
|World Cups||17 (1930, 1934, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006)|
|World Cup honours||Five-time FIFA World Cup winners (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002), two-time FIFA World Cup runners-up (1950, 1998), twice finished in 3rd place (1938, 1978)|
|Continental Titles||Copa America seven times (1919, 1922, 1949, 1989, 1993, 1997, 1999), Pan American Cup four times (1963, 1975 with Mexico, 1979, 1987)|
|Brazil have been placed in group F along with Australia, Croatia and Japan.|