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Brazil

Five-times world champion, Brazil has some of the finest players like, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Robinho, Adriano and Kaka. This year too, the squad can easily be ranked as the best contender to the Cup.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 19:17 IST

FIFA world ranking 1
Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira
Group F Brazil, Croatia, Japan, Australia
Previous appearances 17  (Winners: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002. Runners-up: 2002)
Key player Ronaldinho
Odds 9/4 favourites

Brazil, the only nation to have qualified for every single World Cup, is the favourite team of almost all neutrals, barring a few Argentine die-hards, of course.

From Pele, Garincha, Didi, Vava, Jairzinho, Rivelino to Romario, Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, Brazil have produced winners of such class and flair that as many as five times this Latin American nation has painted the world yellow, the colour of its jersy.

After struggling to qualify, Brazil went to Korea and Japan in 2002 as rank out-siders only to lift their game at the right time.

And a fifth title was all but a formality to complete, which Ronaldo did by scoring two goals in final against Germany, taking his tally in the tournament to 8.

This time they were the best team in the South American qualifiers, edging past their greatest rival Argentina on goal difference.

This team of Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Robinho, Adriano and Kaka is already drawing comparison with Brazil's all time great team of the 1970 World Cup.

Adriano and Robinho are suffering from poor form, but the inspirational presence of World Player of the Year Ronaldinho can lift any team.

Placed in Group F with Australia, Croatia and Japan, it is unlikely that Brazil will drop a point in the first round.

Brazil is team, which always looks to score and with so much explosive talents up front; it will be a shock if it fails to win the title for the sixth time in Germany.

COMPLETE SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Dida, Julio Cesar, Rogerio Ceni

Defenders: Cafu, Cicinho, Lucio, Juan, Roberto Carlos, Gilberto, Cris, Luisao

Midfielders: Edmilson, Juninho Pernambucano, Emerson, Ze Roberto, Gilberto Silva, Kaka, Ricardinho

Forwards: Ronaldo, Robinho, Ronaldinho, Adriano, Fred.