World Cup pedigree: Stellar. Brazil have appeared in every World Cup finals – the only nation to do so – and won it a record five times (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002).
Main man: It's a simple script: Brazil superstar Neymar will lead his country to World Cup glory on home soil, climaxing with a glorious win in the Maracana on July 13th. Home fans won't accept any other storyline – imagine, then, the pressure on Neymar to deliver. He has the talent to do what Maradona did for Argentina in 1986, i.e. inspire his less-gifted team-mates to conquer all, but will he buckle under the weight of expectation?
One to watch: Neymar is the undisputed star of the Selecao, but Chelsea playmaker Oscar has what it takes to win best performer in supporting role.
What are their chances? For Brazil, winning a World Cup at home is as much a trial of nerve as talent – they are the bookies' favourites to win the tournament, yet Spain, Germany and Argentina all boast stronger squads. Pressure to perform may turn home advantage into the exact opposite, although they could hardly have asked for a kinder group draw.