Source Pravda.Ru

Brazil wary of favoritism but accepts the First

Brazil has never been comfortable as a favorite to win a competition. Players can get complacent, other teams become motivated, or simple bad luck strikes.

Yet as the reigning Copa America and Confederations Cup champion, and as the winner of South American World Cup qualifying, Brazil is almost everybody's pick to win a record sixth title in Germany next year. British bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes both have Brazil as a clear 3-1 favorite.

Brazilian confederation President Ricardo Teixeira, however, is defying conventional wisdom and declaring Brazil as the team to beat. But Brazilians are leery about the front-runner status.

After Brazil won its first two titles in 1958 and 1962, the team seemed a natural contender for a third in 1966, led by a 25-year-old Pele in his prime. But the team played disastrously and was eliminated in the first round, finishing behind Portugal and Hungary.

In 1982, Brazil assembled another super-team, with Zico, Socrates, Falcao, Cerezzo, Junior and others. The team enchanted fans and cruised through the first two rounds, then was shocked 3-2 by Italy and eliminated on three goals by Paolo Rossi.

By contrast, Brazil limped into the Cup in 2002, clinching a berth only in its final qualifying game with a lineup of newcomers and injured stars. But the team won it's fifth trophy in Japan. Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who managed the side to its fourth title in 1994, is more reserved. He praises his players but won't identify his team as favorite.

Quietly, Parreira is rebuilding the side. Only 40 percent of the 2002 roster remains, including starters Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Lucio, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo. More changes are coming, despite a 3-0 win over Venezuela on Wednesday that sealed first place in the South American qualifiers.

Palmeiras goalkeeper Marcos and Barcelona defender Edmilson, both member of the 2002 Cup champions, are recovering from injuries and could regain a spot on the team, AP reports.

А. А.

On December 10, 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, its thirty articles enshrining basic and fundamental rights guaranteeing dignity of the human person and equality for all, regardless of race, color, creed or gender. A pipe dream?

Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
Comments
The Myth of the Gene: Genetics, Epigenetics and the Organism-Environment Loop
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Putin: Russian servicemen return home from Syria as victors
Putin: Russian servicemen return home from Syria as victors
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Ugly Christmas tree in Kiev's center shocks Ukrainians
Pentagon can not accept Russia's victory over terrorists in Syria
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Russian general says allegations of his involvement in MH17 crash are stupid
Viktor Yanukovych speaks about Maidan snipers and Donbas civil war
Viktor Yanukovych speaks about Maidan snipers and Donbas civil war
Mikhail Saakashvili's bumpy ride in politics: From chewing his tie to climbing on rooftop
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action