Pedigree Brazil last won the World Cup 20 years ago, a drought the country generally regards as 19 or so years too long. Tite’s squad is a fearsome one, encompassing the two best goalkeepers in the world, a miserly defense, an intelligent and industrious midfield, and a slightly absurd forward line. There is no reason Brazil cannot win its seventh crown.
The Star The supporting cast of Vinicíus Junior, Raphinha and Gabriel Jésus is impressive, but Neymar shines even among Brazil’s enviable collection of gems. He has admitted that this may be his last World Cup, and he has given the impression at the club level in recent weeks that he is determined to make it count.
Key Question Brazil’s form in recent years has been formidable, but — thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic — it has not faced a European team since March 2019, and it has not faced one of Europe’s major forces since losing to Belgium in the 2018 World Cup. That is the one test it has not passed.