Like a lot of the big teams in the World Cup, the group draw for Brazil looks kind and could produce a path for the mother of all grudge matches
The official 2018 FIFA World Cup draw has finally taken place, as 32 national teams from across the globe prepare to compete for the most glorious trophy in world football. Brazil is almost always one of the main favorites in any competition they take part in, and this time around, the situation is not any different.
It is now confirmed that Brazil’s opening game in Russia will be against Switzerland in mid June, as the five-times world champions look to launch their campaign with a victory that gives them confidence to build on, for the later stages. The group E includes yet another European side in Serbia, which could be a tricky one. Meanwhile, last but not least is Costa Rica, who were the black horses of the 2014 edition, reaching the quarter-finals thanks to their impressive defensive resilience, before being eliminated by the Netherlands, in a shootout.
Talking about the Netherlands, they, alongside Chile and Italy, will no doubt be the most notable absences from Russia 2018, which consequently lowers the competition to a certain extent. France and Spain could be seen as two of the biggest threats for Brazil, if we assume that Tite is able to make Brazil maintain its South American dominance throughout the course of the tournament. However, *the* biggest danger for Brazil is, and will always be, Germany.
If you ask any Brazil fan about the dream final, they will tell you that nothing beats a victory over the Germans, in order to redeem international authority that was lost after the hammering on home soil. And this final of dreams may well happen, under one condition, and that is Brazil and Germany topping groups E and F respectively.
Otherwise, if any of the two nations ends second, then the early final could well occur in the round of 16 phase – a clash of titans that, certainly, Adenor Bacchi and Joachim Low would certainly want to avoid. As a matter of fact, many pundits consider the Seleção and the Nationalmannschaft as the top two favorites to achieve silverware, come July 2018. It would kill the beauty of the competition to a certain extent, if one of the big dogs is eliminated before the quarter-finals, in a tournament that does not even feature a traditional powerhouse like Italy.
Having said that, in case Brazil and Germany top their groups, which is something quite likely to happen, on paper, then the Brazilians have some sort of an open path to the semi finals. An open path, in the sense that none of the potential opponents will be one of the top four favorites for the title. It is likely that the rivals will be Belgium, Colombia, England or Poland. Of course, they are strong national sides who have what it takes to challenge Brazil, but you cannot expect any weaker than that in the World Cup knockout phase, so the fans will be more than happy if it happens. It is still in theory less complicated than being up against the quartet of Argentina, France, Germany and Spain.
Only a few months separate us from the biggest event in football. Brazil fans have been eagerly waiting for this moment right since the nightmare in 2014. Tite knows that hard work, intelligent decision-making and perhaps a bit of luck, are necessary to make the dream come true.