Brazil coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, believes the hosts are ready to lift the World Cup trophy, but is wary of other strong ‘traditional’ opponents.
Just 100 days are remaining until the start of the World Cup and Scolari says his side will use their quality to live up to the high expectations in Brazil's second home World Cup.
“As far as our planning for the World Cup is concerned, Brazil are ready," the 65-year-old said in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com.
“If you are a team like Brazil and you take part in a World Cup, everybody expects you to lift the trophy.
“Expectations are certainly higher because it is the second World Cup to be held in Brazil, and because we have a chance to accomplish what we did not manage to do last time.
“Being at home in Brazil, we will use our quality to try and achieve our goal, and if we fall short, it will be because another team simply outplays us."
Scorlari sees their group opponents, Croatia and Cameroon, as very technical and says ties with Mexico have always been tricky. The Brazil coach confirmed that technical teams favour Brazil’s style of play, whilst the hosts have always had difficulties against teams that play 'anti-football'.
“It’s always interesting for us to come up against other teams who play similarly good football," he continued.
“Brazil have often played poorly against teams who take a different approach – teams who are somewhat anti-football and who focus on picking their opponent’s game apart.
“It’s better to play teams who are as good or better than Brazil, as it gives us an opportunity to outplay them. We can go into matches against teams such as Spain with our usual vigour and without facing any unnecessary stress or psychological barriers.
Whilst Scolari believes the traditional strongholds will be the favourites, he says he would be surprised if a team from Africa or Asia will win the trophy.
“The odd surprise, yes, but it would be very difficult for any of them to win the tournament, because the traditional footballing powers will always have more options available to them," he added.
“There are one or two European or South American teams in that outside role who could have a chance, but I don’t think any team from Africa or Asia is able to win the World Cup right now."
Scolari, who led Brazil to their fifth World Cup in 2002, believes the last Brazil team to claim the World Cup, had more experience than his current squad, but his new generation’s enthusiasm and the home advantage could open the door to the final.
“We make it clear that past Brazil teams won their trophies with commitment, spirit and class. And we give them the confidence they need to put their exceptional skills into practice on the pitch," concluded a confident Scolari.
“(But ) it’s not just the talent you have to compare; the 2002 side had more experience. In contrast, the current team has a lot of enthusiasm and drive."
When asked what he will do on the day of the final at 16h00 local time, Scolari responded: “I’ll be on the side-lines preparing for the match. I will have sung the national anthem full of joy, fervour and vigour and hope the same will be true for my players and the Brazilian public.”
Will Brazil be strong enough to lift their sixth World Cup trophy, or who are your other favourites? Have your say in the comment section below.