Brazil National Football Team
In Brazil, football is not just a game; it’s a cultural phenomenon. The country’s greatest footballer of all time, Pelé, famously said “Brazil eats, sleeps and drinks football. It lives football!” Anybody familiar with Brazilian culture would know there is not a modicum of exaggeration in this remark.
So, it seems fitting that the Brazil national team is the most successful men’s football team in history. A Seleção has won the World Cup a record five times. It is the only team to play in all editions of the World Cup, and it has worn the continental crown of Copa América no less than nine times.
Brazil also has four FIFA Confederation Cup titles to its name. Its achievement of winning the World Cup on four separate continents is also an unmatched feat.
Want to see how The Brazil National Football Team will do in the Qatar 2022 World Cup? Click the links below to bet on your favourite World Cup matches!
Thursday November 24 – Brazil vs Serbia (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; kick-off 8pm).
Monday November 28 – Brazil vs Switzerland (Stadium 974, Doha; kick-off 5pm).
Friday, December 2 – Cameroon vs Brazil (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; kick-off 8pm).
Brazil National Football Team History
So, where did this glorious journey begin? It all started with a 3-0 humbling to arch-rival Argentina! Brazil played its first-ever international match against Argentina on September 20, 1914, in Buenos Aires. Regardless of its illustrious achievements, Brazil did not have a dominant start to international football. In 1916, Brazil became a founding member of the CONMEBOL (CONfederación SudaMEricana de FútBOL). Seven years later, Brazil would become a member of FIFA.
The Brazil National Football Team added the first piece of silverware to its trophy room in 1919, when it won the 1919 South American Championships on home soil. Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay participated in the tournament. Since it was held in a round-robin format, the team with the maximum points after three matches would have won the competition. But, Brazil and Uruguay both had five points to their name after three rounds of matches. So, they played a play-off fixture and, thanks to an Arthur Friedenreich strike, Brazil beat Uruguay 1-0 and became the South American champion for the first time. Brazil won the tournament again three years later, but the floodgates of trophies would not open just yet.
First World Cup
Brazil National Football played in the first World Cup and has remained a mainstay in the competition ever since. After a first-round exit in 1930, Brazil would reach the round-of-16 in 1934. In 1938, Brazil progressed to the semifinal. It continued to make incremental improvements in its World Cup results as Brazil finished second in the next World Cup.
After a 12-year-break, World Cup football would resume in 1950. Brazil hosted the tournament with 13 contestants. India and France were also supposed to play, but they withdrew before the tournament. After the group stage, the best teams from the four groups would play in a round-robin final round. Brazil only required a draw against Uruguay at Estádio do Maracanã to win the World Cup for the first time. On the other hand, Uruguay needed to win to become the champion. Friaça put the home team ahead in the 47th minute before Juan Alberto Schiaffino equalized in the 66th minute.
The match was still in favor of Brazil, but Alcides Ghiggia dealt the lethal blow as he made the scoreline 2-1 for Uruguay eleven minutes from time. Brazil could not come back to the game and had to abandon its hopes of becoming the world champion in front of its own crowd. Brazilians recall the match as the “Maracanazo” and treat it as one of the biggest national tragedies in the country’s history.
To forget the horrors of the Maracanzo, the Brazil National Football Team got rid of its all-white kit and embraced the iconic blue, yellow, and green colorway in the 1954 World Cup.
First World Cup Glory and Back-to-Back Titles
Brazil National Football’s wait for its maiden World Cup glory would end in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. Vavá and Pelé both scored a brace in the final as Brazil blew away hosts Sweden in a vastly one-sided 5-2 final win. Brazil made history by becoming the first nation to win the World Cup in a foreign continent.
The Brazilians would keep hold of their title in 1962, another unprecedented feat at that time. Pelé had to exit the tournament prematurely after picking up an injury, but Garrincha stepped up as Brazil’s new talisman. Garrincha and Vavá both scored four goals in the tournament as Brazil lifted the trophy at the expense of Czechoslovakia in the final.
Brazil National Football World Cup Upsets
Brazil has been involved with many firsts in World Cup history, but the record it set in 1966 is not something Brazil fans would love to revisit. Brazil got eliminated from the group stages in the 1966 edition and became the first defending champion to fail to make it to the knockout stages.
The Brazil National Football Team atoned for its underperformance in 1970 with a third World Cup triumph. It was Pelé’s final World Cup, and he was surrounded by legendary players like Carlos Alberto Torres, Rivelino, Tostão, Gérson and Jairzinho. The Brazilians thoroughly outplayed all oppositions that came their way, and the 4-1 final win over Italy was perfectly representative of their dominance throughout the tournament. For becoming champions for an unprecedented third time, FIFA permanently awarded the Jules Rimet trophy to Brazil.
After its third World Cup haul, Brazil would finish fourth in 1974. In 1978, Brazil failed to qualify for the final under controversial circumstances. Brazil finished its second-round campaign with a goal difference of +5. Hosts Argentina, who would play Peru the next day, would have needed to win by four goals to surpass Brazil. Argentina ended up winning 6-0, which led many to believe the match was fixed. Brazil accused Argentina of match-fixing, but FIFA did not interfere as no evidence was found.
In 1982, the Brazil National Football team took one of the best teams in its history to Spain. Zico, Éder, Falcão, and Sócrates constituted one of the most fearsome midfield combinations ever put together. Entering as strong favorites, Brazil would lose to Italy in the second round in a Paolo Rossi-inspired World Cup classic. Historians often label Brazil’s 1982 World Cup squad as the best team that never won the World Cup.
Ending the Trophy Drought
Sebastião Lazaroni led the Brazil National Football team to 1989 Copa América glory. It ended Brazil National Football’s 19-year trophy drought, but Brazil’s wait for another World Cup was prolonged as Lazaroni failed to take the team past round-of-16 in the 1990 World Cup.
The coveted fourth would finally come in 1994. Carlos Alberto Parreira kept the defensive fundamentals of Sebastião Lazaroni and built a defensilvely resolute team. Brazil would beat Italy in the final, but some Brazil fans often complain that the 1994 team lacked the flair and fluidity of classic Brazil teams.
The Modern Era
Brazil National Football stood only one match away from adding the fifth World Cup trophy to its cabinet in 1998. But, Brazil failed to get a foothold in the final as the host nation, France, cruised to a 3-0 victory in the final. Canarinho would make its third back-to-back World Cup final appearance as it took on Germany in the 2002 World Cup final in Yokohama. Brazil won the match 2-0 and became world champions for the fifth time.
The Brazil National Football Team could not return to the World Cup final since then. Its best World Cup campaign post-2002 was in 2014 when Brazil hosted the tournament for the second time in its history. Brazil’s 2014 World Cup campaign suffered a Maracanazo-like setback when it lost 7-1 to Germany in the semifinals at Estádio Mineirão. To date, it’s the biggest margin of defeat in a World Cup semifinal.
Brazilian National Football Team Today
Since its 2002 World Cup win, the Brazil National Football team has won three Copa América titles and three Confederation Cups. Tite has been the head coach of Brazil since 2016. He won the Copa América with Brazil in 2019 and took the team to the final of the competition in 2021, but a defeat to arch-rivals Argentina denied his team of its 10th continental honor. The veteran manager would hope to better his 2018 World Cup record in the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Last time around, Brazil got knocked out of the quarterfinals, suffering a 2-1 defeat to Belgium.