GROUP G: Brazil expected to at least make semi-finals

It has become the norm to expect Brazilian teams to succeed at major tournaments and in 2010 it is no different.

Dunga’s samba kings should make it to the final four and anything less will be deemed a failure by not only the Brazilian public but the team themselves.

Brazilian football has won plenty of fans over the years with their entertaining style and attacking flair which has sometimes gotten the team into trouble down the other end but that has been restrained by Dunga who has consolidated a strong defence led by inspirational skipper Lucio.

The fact Dunga has left out Ronaldinho, who would be in any other World Cup squad, is testament to the other players in the final 23 and the 2010 version of the Brazil national team should have no problems getting through to at least the quarter-finals and by my calculations will take down Holland to make the final four.

Brazil

Playing schedule: North Korea (Johannesburg) June 15; Ivory Coast (Johannesburg) June 20; Portugal (Durban) June 25

Also known as: A Selecao (The Selection)
Manager: Dunga (BRA)
Captain: Lucio
Key players: Kaka, Robinho, Luis Fabiano, Douglas Maicon
Wildcard: Grafite
Player to watch: Ramires
Most caps: Cafu (130). Of this squad: Lucio (91)
Top goalscorer: Pele (77). Of this squad: Luis Fabiano (25)
FIFA ranking: 1
Qualifying: Top of CONMEBOL group stage.
Appearance: 19th
Best result: Winners – 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 & 2002

Brazil squad

Goalkeepers

Julio Cesar (Inter Milan)
Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham)
Doni (AS Roma)

Defenders

Douglas Maicon (Inter Milan)
Lucio (Inter Milan)
Juan (AS Roma)
Michel Bastos (Lyon)
Dani Alves (Barcelona)
Luisao (Benfica)
Thiago Silva (AC Milan)
Gilberto (Cruzeiro)

Midfielders

Felipe Melo (Juventus)
Elano (Galatasaray)
Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos)
Kaka (Real Madrid)
Josue (VfL Wolfsburg)
Ramires (Benfica)
Julio Baptista (AS Roma)
Kleberson (Flamengo)

Forwards

Luis Fabiano (Sevilla)
Robinho (Santos)
Grafite (VfL Wolfsburg)
Nilmar (Villarreal)

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