Adidas-Brazuca-Ball
Adidas Brazuca Ball
Adidas-Brazuca-Ball
Adidas Brazuca Ball

BRAZIL (seeded team)

The?Brazil national football team, also known as?Sele??o Brasileira?or simply?A Sele??o?is definitely a hot favorite to lift the?Copa Mundial?for the sixth time although the odds for the most part are against teams hosting and winning major tournaments.

Brazil national football team- Sele??o Brasileira
Brazil national football team- Sele??o Brasileira

The current Brazil squad undoubtedly has quality players who play at the highest level of the game but fail to match the depth of the past?A Sele??o??teams, which boasted of a host of world-class stars.

Credit however must be given to the current side for their great accomplishment at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup held on home soil last summer as the curtain raiser for the actual showpiece event to be held in Brazil this summer.

Brazil?s usual starting XI
Brazil?s usual starting XI

Style and formation:

Brazil usually opts for a fluid 4-2-3-1 pressing system which allows their full-backs to join high up in attack. Midfield dynamo Luis Gustavo acts as a supplementary center-back to cover for the full-backs and Chelsea FC?s David Luiz when they press forward.

The current squad is well organized and determined overall, and depends heavily on total teamwork to get the needed results as seen against all their opponents at last summer?s competition.

The trickery and skill level typical of Brazilian teams still resides in this new generation and Barcelona?s Neymar definitely leads the way with his high footwork IQ. It comes as no surprise that the Brazilian backline always look out for the top star on the left flank of attack with beautiful deliveries from their own defensive area.

Strengths:

Brazil is being managed by 2002 World Cup winning head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and therefore it is expected that with his depth of knowledge in major tournaments, will to win and the enthusiasm of the home fans,?Sele??o Brasileira??will go very far in the tournament and possibly lift their sixth title in the history of the?Copa Mundial.?The team?s name and even their presence on the field of play is more than enough to set their opponents on the backpedal.

Weaknesses

They are very few areas of concern with this team and the one that comes to mind is the dearth of players in the center forward role. Fred definitely played a major part at last summer?s competition but backup will definitely be needed in that position come Brazil 2014. Diego Costa definitely added fuel to the fire by opting to feature for Spain. The inclusion of an experienced player of Robinho?s caliber might come in handy for this squad in about four months from now.

Most Valuable Player

Neymar
Neymar

Neymar has definitely lived up to all expectations placed on him. He is worth the hype by pundits of the modern game. He is always lively and entertaining to watch with his pure skill, creativity and trickery, leaving his markers to chase after his shadow. The 22-year-old rising star has embraced his role as the driving force of the team. He has what it takes to change a game at any given time and that should not be any different at the finals. Neymar has scored 27 goals after featuring 46 times for his country. He was awarded the Golden Ball for being the best player at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Rising Star

According to coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, the rising star in this Brazilian team is Bernard, who he describes to have ?joy in his legs.? He is a lad full of energy, flashiness and possesses quick feet as well. He registered his first goal for his country against Honduras in November of 2013, following his national team debut in November of 2012.

Head Coach

After a short spell without a club, Luiz Felipe Scolari was hired again to manage the Brazilian national football team. He led his country to win the 2002 World Cup and he has been charged with the task of triumphing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which this time will be on home soil. His rich international experience extends to managing Portugal from 2003 to the summer of 2008, leading them to the Euro 2004 final, Germany 2006 semi-finals, and the quarter-final of the Euro 2008.

How they qualified

As hosts of the tournament.

World Cup Achievements

Brazil stand as the only nation to have made it to every?Copa Mundial ?tournament since its inception in 1930, holding the record for the most tournament wins which is five, with their last triumph achieved in the last three editions of the World Cup finals in 2002 in Korea/Japan.

FIFA Ranking: 10

 

CROATIA

Croatia national football team
Croatia national football team

Prospects

The current Croatian squad, albeit the fact that they carry a lot of promise and could surprise big teams, still lack the talent and drive of the France ?98 side led by Davor??uker.

Most Valuable Player

Mario Mand?uki?
Mario Mand?uki?

Bayern Munich?s Mario?Mand?uki? is the top player in the Croatian team. He led the team in scoring in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with four goals. He however will miss the opening game of the World Cup against Brazil in S?o Paulo on June 12, 2014?after receiving a red card against Iceland for stamping Johann Gudmundsson?s left knee on the road to Brazil.

Head Coach

Nico?Kova?, former captain of the Croatian national team is the manager. He took over from Igor??timac after he resigned after a 2-0 loss to Scotland during the qualifying series.?Kova? was in charge of Croatia?s Under-21 side before taking over the men?s senior national team on 16 October, 2013. Croatia went on to beat Iceland 2-0 to book their place at the?Copa Mundial.?

Road to Brazil

After the the first six qualifying games, Croatia garnered sixteen points which equaled that of top-of-the-table team Belgium. The Croatians had won five games and tied one game at that stage but they only secured one point from their remaining four qualifying games, meaning they had to beat Iceland in the play-offs to punch their ticket to this summer?s showpiece event.

World Cup Achievements

Croatia remarkably wrote their name in the history books when they won the bronze medal in the France ?98 tournament, where they made their FIFA World Cup debut. They however could not make it past the group phase of the competition in the Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006 finals.

FIFA Ranking: 16

 

MEXICO

Mexico national football team-El Tri
Mexico national football team-El Tri

Prospects

El Tri?had a strenuous World Cup qualifying series and nearly missed out of the Brazil 2014 tournament. Mexico used over 47 players in the past 14 months and 4 coaches were used throughout the campaign. This shows the Mexicans have a lot of talent and options but the team and its management have to go to the drawing table quickly to find the winning team and strategy in the build up to the fast approaching finals.

Most Valuable Player

Oribe Peralta
Oribe Peralta

The star of this current Mexican side is Oribe Peralta if his dazzling performances in the qualifying campaign is anything to go by. He registered 10 goals with as many as 5 coming in the play-off tie against New Zealand. He also featured as one of Mexico?s oldest players in the London 2012 Summer Olympics and managed to score twice against Brazil in the final, which ended 2-1 in Mexico?s favor to claim the gold medal. He finished the tournament as the top scorer with 4 goals.

Head Coach

Miguel Herrera is the manager of the Mexican national football team. He became the fourth coach to lead the side in a six-week period. He was initially charged with the task of ensuring qualification to the World Cup finals in the play-off tie with New Zealand in October. He led?El Tri?to a 9-3 aggregate triumph over the All Whites by using only local-based players. He was later given a contract to lead the team all the way to Brazil.

Road to Brazil

Mexico had to use the narrow escape to qualify for Brazil 2014. Their campaign was saved by a late comeback by the Stars and Stripes of the USA against Panama in the final qualifying round. The game ended 3-2 in favor of the USA which led to Mexico?s two-legged play-off fixture against New Zealand.

World Cup Achievements

Mexico will be making their 15th appearance at the?Copa Mundial?with only Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Italy having a better number of appearances at the World Cup finals. The Mexicans reached the quarter-finals when they hosted the competition in 1970 and 1986 but they have been knocked out in the round of 16 in the last five editions.

FIFA Ranking: 21

 

Cameroon

Cameroon national football team-Indomitable Lions
Cameroon national football team-Indomitable Lions

Prospects

In recent times, the Indomitable Lions have been a shadow of what they once stood for on the field of play. Cameroon failed to reach the last two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations coupled with conflict within the team and a brief suspension of their football federation after government interference. The Cameroonians have depth in their team but they have to work more as a lethal unit to perform at their best at the World Cup.

Most Valuable Player

Samuel Eto?o Fils
Samuel Eto?o Fils

Team captain Samuel Eto?o Fils is still the most influential player on the pitch. He however had a fallout with coach Volker Finke earlier and then later with the rest of his teammates when he claimed they plotted not to feed him with passes in their play-off tie against Tunisia.

Head Coach

German Volker Finke is the technical head of the Cameroonian national team. He was put in charge of the team in May, 2013 after a 16-year coaching career with SC Freiburg and a brief spell with FC?K?ln.

Road to Brazil

In June of 2013, FIFA overturned a 2-0 loss to Togo as the Togolese side fielded an ineligible player. The ruling gave Cameroon a 3-0 win which took them to the summit of their qualifying table to set up a two-legged play-off tie with Tunisia, which the Indomitable Lions won 4-1 on aggregate.

World Cup Achievements

This summer?s tournament will Cameroon?s seventh appearance at the showpiece event, which stands as the African record. The Indomitable Lions have managed just one win in the last four editions of the World Cup, following their historic feat in?Italia?1990, where they reached the last eight. They hit an all-time low when they lost all three group games in South Africa 2010.

FIFA Ranking: 50

SOUCE:?Ghanafans.com

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