|Nickname(s)||A Seleção (The Selection)|
|Association||Confederação Brasileira de Futebo (CBF)|
|Confederation||CONMEBOL (South America)|
|Most caps||Cafu (142)|
|Top scorer||Pelé (77)|
|FIFA ranking||2 1|
|Highest FIFA ranking||1|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||22|
|Highest Elo ranking||1|
|Lowest Elo ranking||18|
|First international||Argentina 3–0 Brazil|
|Biggest win||Brazil 14–0 Nicaragua|
|Biggest defeat|| Uruguay 6–0 Brazil |
Brazil 1–7 Germany
|World Cup appearances||21 (all) (First in 1930)|
|Best result||Champions, 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002|
|Copa América appearances||35 (First in 1916)|
|Best result||Champions, 1919, 1922, 1949, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2007|
- Main article: History of the Brazil national football team
Early history (1914–57)
It is generally believed that the first game of the Brazilian national football team was a 1914 match between a Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo select team and the English club Exeter City, held in Fluminense's stadium. Brazil won 2–0 with goals by Oswaldo Gomes and Osman, though it is claimed that the match was a 3–3 draw. In contrast to its future success, the national team's early appearances were not brilliant. Other early matches played during that time include several friendly games against Argentina (being defeated 3-0), Chile (first in 1916) and Uruguay (first on July 12, 1916).
Brazil first achieved international prominence when it hosted the 1950 FIFA World Cup. The team went into the last game of the final round, against Uruguay at Estádio do Maracanã in Rio, needing only a draw to win the World Cup. However, Uruguay won the match and the Cup in a game known as "the Maracanzo." The match led to a period of national mourning.
For the 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland, the Brazilian team was then almost completely renovated, with the team colours changed (to a new design by Aldyr Schlee) from all white to the yellow, blue and green of the national flag, to forget the Maracanazo, but still had a group of star players. Brazil reached the quarter-final, where they were beaten 4–2 by tournament favourites Hungary in one of the ugliest matches in football history, known as the Battle of Berne.
The Golden Era with Pelé (1958–70)
For the 1958 FIFA World Cup, Brazil were drawn in a group with England, the USSR and Austria. They beat Austria 3–0 in their first match, then drew 0–0 with England. Before the match, coach Vicente Feola made three substitutions that were crucial for Brazil to defeat the Soviets: Zito, Garrincha and Pelé. From the kick off, they kept up the pressure relentlessly, and after three minutes, which were later described as "the greatest three minutes in the history of football", Vavá gave Brazil the lead. They won the match by 2–0. Pelé scored the only goal of their quarter-final match against Wales, and they beat France 5–2 in the semi-final. Brazil then beat Sweden, in the final by 5–2, winning their first World Cup and becoming the first nation to win a World Cup title outside of its own continent.
In the 1962 FIFA World Cup, Brazil earned its second title with Garrincha as the star player, a mantle and responsibility laid upon him after the regular talisman, Pelé, was injured during the second group match against Czechoslovakia and unable to play for the rest of the tournament.
In the 1966 FIFA World Cup, Brazil had their worst performance in a World Cup. The 1966 tournament was remembered for its excessively physical play, and Pelé was one of the players most affected. Against Portugal, several violent tackles by the Portuguese defenders caused Pelé to leave the match and the tournament. Brazil lost this match and was eliminated in the first round of the World Cup for the first time since 1934. After the tournament, Pelé declared that he did not wish to play in the World Cup again. Nonetheless, he returned in 1970.
Brazil won its third World Cup in Mexico, with the 1970 FIFA World Cup. It fielded what has since then often been considered the best association football squad ever, led by Pelé in his last World Cup finals, captain Carlos Alberto Torres, Jairzinho, Tostão, Gérson and Rivelino. They won all six of their games—against Czechoslovakia, England, and Romania during group play, and against Peru, Uruguay, and Italy in the knockout rounds. Jairzinho was the second top scorer with seven goals; Pelé finished with four goals. Brazil lifted the Jules Rimet trophy for the third time (the first nation to do so), which meant that they were allowed to keep it. A replacement was then commissioned, though it would be 24 years before Brazil won it.
The dry spell (1971–93)
In the second group stage of the 1978 FIFA World Cup, Brazil was competing with tournament host Argentina for top spot and a place in the finals. In their last group match, Brazil defeated Poland 3–1 to go to the top of the group with a goal difference of +5. Argentina had had a goal difference of +2, but in its last group match, it defeated Peru by 6–0 and thus qualify for the final, in a match accused of ultimately-unproven match fixing. The Brazilian team settled for third place.
In the 1982 FIFA World Cup, the tournament favorites Brazil easily moved through the early part of the draw, but a 3–2 defeat to Italy, in one of the classic games in World Cup finals history, eliminated them from the tournament in the match that they refer to as "Sarriá's Disaster", referencing the stadium's name. The 1982 team, with players like Sócrates, Zico, Falcão and Éder, is remembered as one of the greatest teams never to win a World Cup.
Several players from 1982 returned to play in the 1986 World Cup. Brazil met France in the quarter-finals, in a classic of Total Football. The game played to a 1-1 draw in regulation time, and after a goalless extra time, it all came down to a penalty shoot-out. Brazil was eliminated 4–3.
In the 1990 FIFA World Cup, Brazil was coached by Sebastião Lazaroni. With a defensive scheme, whose main symbol was midfielder Dunga, and three full-backs, the team lacked creativity but made it to the second round. Brazil was eliminated by Argentina in the round of 16.
Return to winning ways (1994–2002)
Brazil went 24 years without winning a World Cup or even participating in a final. This included 16 years without even making the round of eight. Their struggles ended at the 1994 tournament, where a solid side headed by Romário, Bebeto, Dunga, Taffarel, and Jorginho won the World Cup for a then-record fourth time. Highlights of their campaign included a 1–0 victory over the host United States in the round of 16, and a sensational 3–2 win over the Netherlands in the quarter-finals (often cited as the game of the tournament).. This set up Brazil vs. Italy in the final. After a 0–0 draw, penalty kicks loomed, and Brazil was the champion once again.
Entering the 1998 FIFA World Cup as defending champions, Brazil finished runner-up. After a respectable campaign during which they beat the Netherlands on penalties in the semi-final following a 1–1 draw, the team lost to the host France 3–0 in the final game.
Fuelled by the "Three R's" (Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho), Brazil won its fifth championship at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan. Brazil beat all three opponents in group play and topped the group. In Brazil's opening game against Turkey, Rivaldo fell to the ground clutching his face after Turkey's Hakan Ünsal had kicked the ball at his legs. Rivaldo escaped suspension but was fined £5,180 for play-acting, and became the first player ever to be punished in FIFA's crackdown on diving. Brazil defeated Belgium 2–0, in the round of 16. Against England in the quarter-finals, it won 2–1. The semi-final was against Turkey. Brazil won 1–0. The final was between Germany and Brazil. Ronaldo scored two goals in the Brazilian 2–0 triumph. Ronaldo also won the Golden Shoe as the tournament's leading scorer.
World Cup drought (2006–2010)
Manager Carlos Alberto Parreira built his side through a 4-2-2-2 formation. Nicknamed the "Magic Square", the attack was built around four players: Ronaldo, Adriano, Kaká, and Ronaldinho. In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Brazil won its first two games against Croatia (1–0) and Australia (2–0). In the final group game against Japan, Brazil won 4-1 against Japan. Ronaldo scored twice and equalled the record for the most goals scored across all World Cups. In the round of 16, Brazil beat Ghana 3–0. Ronaldo's goal was his 15th in World Cup history, breaking the record. Brazil was eliminated in the quarter-finals against France, losing 1–0.
Dunga was hired as Brazil's new team manager in 2006. Brazil won in 2007 Copa América, and Robinho was awarded the Golden Boot and named the best player in the tournament. Brazil won the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup to seal their third Confederations Cup title.Kaká was named as the player of the tournament and Luís Fabiano won the top goalscorer award.
In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Brazil won their first match against North Korea 2–1. They won their second game against Ivory Coast 3–1. Their last match against Portugal ended in a 0–0 draw. They faced Chile in the round of 16, and gained a 3–0 win. In the quarter-final, they lost to the Netherlands 2–1.
In July 2010, Mano Menezes was named as the new Brazil coach. At the 2011 Copa América, Brazil lost against Paraguay and was eliminated in the quarter-finals. On 4 July 2012, due to a lack of competitive matches, as the team automatically qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil was ranked 11th in the FIFA ranking, the first time the Seleção was ruled out the top ten since the ranking was created in 1993.
Return of Luiz Felipe Scolari (2013–14)
On 6 June 2013, Brazil was ranked 22nd in the FIFA ranking, their worst rank ever. Brazil entered the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup with the objective of defending their title. In the final, Brazil faced Spain.Brazil won 3–0, sealing their fourth Confederations Cup title.Neymar was named player of the tournament and received the Golden Ball Award and the Adidas Bronze Shoe, and Júlio César won the Golden Glove Award for the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
2014 FIFA World Cup
- Main article: Brazil at the 2014 FIFA World Cup
Brazil was drawn into Group A of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, alongside Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon. In the opening match of the tournament, Marcelo gave the Croatians a lead with an own goal. However, two goals from Neymar and one from Oscar turned the game around to get the Seleção off to a winning start in their first World Cup on home soil in 64 years. The team then draw 0–0 with Mexico, as Guillermo Ochoa produced a man of the match performance in the Mexican goal. Brazil confirmed qualification to the knockout stage by defeating Cameroon 4–1 with Neymar again scoring twice, and Fred and Fernandinho providing further goals. Brazil faced Chile in the round of 16, taking an 18th minute lead through David Luiz's first goal for the Seleção. With no further scoring after Alexis Sánchez's equaliser, the match went to a penalty shootout. Brazil prevailed 3–2, with Neymar, Luiz and Marcelo converting their kicks, and goalkeeper Júlio César saving from Chileans Alexis and Mauricio Pinilla. The team again faced South American opposition in the quarter-final, defeating Colombia 2–1 with goals from central defenders David Luiz and the team captain Thiago Silva. Late in the match, Neymar was substituted on a stretcher after Juan Camilo Zúñiga's knee had made contact with the forward's back. Neymar was taken to hospital and later diagnosed with a fractured vertebra, which ruled him out for the remainder of the tournament. Prior to this, Neymar had scored four goals, provided one assist, and been named man of the match twice. Brazil faced further problems ahead of their semi-final against Germany, as Thiago Silva was to serve a one-match suspension for receiving his second yellow card of the tournament in the quarter-final. The Seleção went on to lose 1-7 to the Germans – their biggest ever defeat at the World Cup and first home loss in a competitive match since 1975. Towards the end of the match, the home crowd began to "olé" each pass from the German team, and booed their own players off the pitch after the final whistle. The match has been nicknamed the Mineirazo, making reference to the nation's previous World Cup defeat on home soil, the Maracanazo against Uruguay in 1950, and the Estádio do Mineirão where the match took place.
Brazil finished the World Cup in fourth place, having failed to avenge their semi final defeat to Germany by losing to the Netherlands 0–3 in the third-place match. The team ended the tournament with the worst defensive record of the 32 competing nations, having conceded 14 goals. The only other countries to concede 12 or more goals in the current World Cup format are North Korea and Saudi Arabia. Following these results, Scolari announced his resignation.
Return of Dunga (2014–)
On 22 July 2014, Dunga was announced as the new manager of Brazil, returning to the position for the first time since the team's exit in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Dunga's first match in his second reign as Brazil's manager was a friendly match against 2014 FIFA World Cup quarter-finalists Colombia at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on 5 September 2014, with Brazil winning the match 1–0, with a Neymar free-kick in the 83rd minute of the match. He followed this up with wins against Ecuador (1–0), in the 2014 Superclásico de las Américas against Argentina (2–0), against Japan (4–0), and against Turkey (0-4). Dunga continued by defeating Austria in another friendly, won by 1-2.
FIFA World Cup history
- Main article: Brazil FIFA World Cup history
FIFA World Cup
- Main article: Brazil Copa América history
Friendly matches 2013-14
- Main article: Brazil friendly match history