Brazil hold the most World Cup victories with five, and few would bet against the Selecao claiming another crown this summer in Russia. There was much hype ahead of their home World Cup four years ago, but the 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semifinals knocked the entire nation.
This time around, they are again amongst the favourites, but there is a bit more steel about the Brazil side. The mercurial talents of Neymar and Philippe Coutinho are balanced out by the discipline of Casemiro and Paulinho, and many would agree this is a much more rounded side than the one we saw crumble in Belo Horizonte.
World Cup year also marks a World Cup update for FIFA 18. You will be able to pick any of the 32 teams in Russia and embark on your World Cup journey. Brazil would be a brilliant choice, and RealSport gives you all you need as you head to Russia.
Unsurprisingly, Brazil receive a 5 star rating on FIFA 18, which replicates their 85 overall. This consists of 87 attack, 85 midfield and 86 defence scores.
Brazil’s potential World Cup fixtures
Round of 16
Germany or Argentina
It’s a superb group stage from Brazil’s standpoint, and they should be eying three comfortable victories to take confidence into the knockouts. Switzerland have proven to be stubborn opposition in the past however, Costa Rica defeated Uruguay & Italy four years ago, and Serbia do have quality throughout the pitch, so don’t get too confident.
If you top the group, the Round of 16 should be straightforward, with the real battles coming in the quarterfinals. You could face any of Belgium, England or Colombia in the last eight, but Brazil’s combination of skill and experience should see them through.
The semifinals will be another tough task, with Spain and France perhaps the first calibre of sides that could defeat the Brazilians. A final against Germany or Argentina is a mouth-watering prospect.
Brazil use a conventional 4-3-3 holding system, and you should stick with the formation for the World Cup. If you want to go more attacking, opt for a 4-3-3 attack.
Alisson gets the nod in goal, as Dani Alves, Miranda, Thiago Silva and the dangerous Marcelo (89 crossing) set up in an experienced back four.
Casemiro is in defensive midfield, Paulinho operates in a box-to-box role and the silky Philippe Coutinho (92 balance) is the link man to the attack.
Willian and danger man Neymar (96 dribbling) provide plenty of energy in the wide areas, and the lively Gabriel Jesus leads the line.
On the bench, opt for Ederson, Marquinhos, Filipe Luis, Fernandinho, Renato Augusto, Douglas Costa and Roberto Firmino.
Neymardependencia was the big theme at the World Cup in 2014, and when Neymar left the tournament injured, Brazil fell apart. The team is much stronger nowadays, but you still can’t deny that Neymar is the catalyst in the side.
You need to get the left winger on the ball as much as possible to utilise his dynamic (96 agility) and technical (95 ball control) abilities. To maximise this, on the instructions tab, tell Neymar to ‘stay forward’, ‘cut inside’ and 'get into box for cross'.
Aside from Neymar, you will want the creative Philippe Coutinho (86 short passing) joining in with things in the final third. The Barcelona man should ‘get forward’ for attacking support, ‘stay on edge of box for cross’, ‘aggressive interceptions’ and most importantly ‘free roam’ for his positioning freedom.Lastly, your full backs hold tremendous technical ability so tell Danilo and Marcelo to ‘always overlap’ for their attacking runs.
With your first four games in the tournament likely to be against significantly weaker opposition, you should opt for an attacking mentality. This will get your players higher up the pitch as you look to overpower your opponents.
As you go deeper into the tournament, things will become tougher and you can’t afford to be so open. You could reign your full-backs in, or even put the defensive-minded Fernandinho in the starting lineup alongside Casemiro.
Target number six
Six World Cups would be a tremendous achievement from Brazil, and you feel few teams could match up to them this summer. Their biggest threat is defending World Champions Germany, but with Brazil claiming a 1-0 win over Die Mannschaft back in March, they are now the favourites for glory in Russia.
Brazil have tasted defeat just once in close to two years, and with their free-flowing, attacking play, they have the capacity to set the tournament alight this summer.
Brazil squad player ratings
|Filipe Luis||32||LB||Atletico Madrid||85|
|Gabriel Paulista||27||CB RB||Valencia||80|
|Renato Augusto||30||CAM CM||Beijing Sinobo Guoan||85|
|Fernandinho||33||CDM CM||Manchester City||84|
|Oscar||26||CAM CM||Shanghai SIPG||83|
|Lucas Lima||27||CAM CM||Palmeiras||82|
|Luiz Gustavo||30||CDM CM||Marseille||81|
|Gabriel Jesus||21||ST||Manchester City||85|
|Douglas Costa||27||RW LW||Juventus||83|
|Hulk||31||RW ST||Shanghai SPIG||83|
|Ricardo Oliveira||38||ST||Atletico Mineiro||80|
|Diego Souza||32||ST||Sao Paulo||78|
|Luan||25||RW ST LW||Gremio||78|
|Diego Tardelli||33||ST||Shandong Luneng||76|