But not if they're playing the USA.
Ever since 1994, when the World Cup was played in America, I have had it in for Brazil. It’s not like they aren’t a great team, or contain some really great players, I’ve just always thought they have held a sporting rabbit’s foot when it came to the big tournament.
They haven’t really performed well on other stages, like their own regional tournament, and have been getting beaten by Argentina on a regular basis.
Back in 1994, they tripped and crawled into the final, winning most of their games by 1-0, and two on penalty kicks. During the final, they were totally outplayed by a fantastic Italian lineup, including the world’s best player Roberto Baggio, but the swarthy Europeans just couldn’t get the ball into the net. But Brazil couldn’t either and it remains the only cup final to be decided on penalties. Brazil won because, of all people, Baggio missed his kick.
In 1998, they made it again to the final, only to get embarrassed by the French, who made them look like they didn’t deserve to be there.
In 2002, once again they played to the last game (and I suppose I should give them something for being able to make it to these final games one way or another), but their opponent was a lackluster German side, who didn’t have to beat world class opponents to get there. In their defense, the Brazilians did have to beat some serious teams like Turkey and England, and beat the Germans convincingly.
But during that tournament we found that Brazilian players can be just as dirty and deceptive during play as anyone else (we won’t name names), and I secretly wished (well, not so secretly) that they would meet their end before the final. Alas it wasn’t so.
This year I’ve been watching some of the players, and have to admit, as does this article, that the world’s favorite team looks really good. They are playing well, and Ronaldino is really everything they say he is. I can’t help but like this team and won’t be a bit disappointed if they win the whole thing.
Although for a change of pace it would be nice to see two different teams in the final. England would be nice. Or the Czechs. Even Argentina if they make it out of round 1. Spain anyone?