Ronaldo hopes Brazil would win its sixth World Cup title
Jun 14 2018
But they could hardly be called lukewarm opponents. Between the World Cup, Copa America, Confederations Cup, and the Olympics, Brazil has the second most total championships of all South American teams in these events with 17.
It didn't take long before Neymar and his Brazil teammates started heading to the beach after the team arrived at its World Cup base in Sochi.
And the win over after their 3-0 victory over Austria on Sunday, Coutinho believes it has given him confidence going into World Cup.
The forward was pelted with eggs and flower as he sat on the grass during training. But boy, did it work well.
So, how have they managed that?
In his blog on UOL Esporte, respected journalist Paulo Vinicius Coelho, known as PVC, noted how Brazil had "transformed a hard game into an easy [one]" by beating an Austria side that had won its last seven fixtures.
The individual talent is there as always but the team are better balanced than their unloved recent predecessors. "Rumours shouldn't matter." Meanwhile, former Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari claimed that midfielder Casemiro is the man makes the Brazilian team click. Deployed this way, he and Neymar will not occupy the same space and that can only be good for Brazil.
"The concentration and competitiveness of the team was laudable", Tite told reporters. Players took their shirts off and put their sandals on upon making it to the resort city where Brazil will be staying during the World Cup.
They will be led by their talisman Neymarwho will be looking for salvation after his disgusting injury against Columbia in the quarter-final of 2014 World Cup. At the time, Thiago was injury prone and seemingly burnt-out while Marquinhos was "flying".
Sixteen years later, this is Brazil's best chance to win the Cup again, for the sixth time, he feels.
Make no mistake: Dani Alves will be missed by the Selecao, especially for his leadership and experience.
Tite's side go into the tournament off the back of warm-up wins over Croatia and Austria. Pele scored four goals in that tournament in Mexico, but he also lit up that competition at other moments, like his dummy of the Uruguayan goalkeeper and an outrageous attempt from his own half against Czechoslovakia that went inches wide.
Jesus, 20, was painting the streets of Brazil in 2014 and this time he will be in the Playing 11 alongside Neymar.
Alisson has enjoyed an outstanding season with the Serie A club, helping them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they lost to Liverpool.
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar endured some heavy challenges on his first start since suffering a broken metatarsal at the end of February and scored a delightful solo goal in the 63rd minute in between Gabriel Jesus' opener and Philippe Coutinho's stylish third.