The World Cup kicks off this week and five-time champion Brazil is once again among the favorites to win. As the team trained in Rio de Janeiro, they showed they were prepared to claim a sixth trophy.
CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco has the story.
Unlike when it was the tournament host, Brazil had to earn a play-off spot in Russia this time. It did so by qualifying before any other nation with a resounding 12 wins and five draws. The only drawback was a first game 2 to 0 loss to Chile.
Regardless, players celebrated the victories and projected confidence in winning the tournament.
Much of that spirit is due to Ademar Leonardo Bachi, the team manager who took control of the squad in mid-2016, and immediately produced results.
“Brazil is one of the favorites given the football it has shown. It’s an aggressive team that scores goals and makes quick transitions,” he said.
The one major concern for the team is Neymar, the mega-star captain, and striker. He is recovering from a three-month absence after surgery for a foot injury.
Meanwhile, the team’s medical unit has been intensely concentrating on diet and endurance training to put players in optimal condition for the sport’s ever-increasing physical demands.
Next week, these players will start the campaign against Switzerland, once again shouldering the hopes of victory for this football-mad nation. It’s been 16 years since Brazil won the world’s most coveted trophy, and it’s hungry for another championship.