Preview: Brazil enters the 2006 World Cup tournament as the odds on favorite to win it all.  Led by household names Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, and Cafu the squad is balanced, and poised for a repeat.  Playmakers abound on the Brazilian side: Ronaldinho, Robinho, Ronaldo and Kaka are offensive stars.  In order for Brazil to reach it's full potential, however, just as much energy will have to be focused on the squad's defensive play..  Central defenders Lucio and Edmilson have plenty of international experience, and Gilberto Silva along with Emerson are excellent control minded midfielders.

There are many historical side stories this year for Brazil, such as Ronaldo's pursuit for the record of most goals scored in the World Cup for example.  The main attraction  be Brazil's exciting "joga bonito" style of play, and potential showdowns with the European powers.  The boys in the yellow and green should easily make it out of it's group, and the odds of Brazil winning it's 6th title are more than twice than it's nearest rival, whoever that might be.

Result: When I read about the criticism the Seleção faced in the Brazilian press, as the team breezed to a first place finish in Group F, I attributed it to the fussiness of the typical Brazilian fan.  Not only did they expect to win, but they expected to win with style.  The trepidations continued as Brazil beat Ghana 3-0 in the sixteens, as Ghana dominated the time of possession.  The moment of reckoning came after 57 of domination by France in the quarterfinal match, as Thierry Henry confirmed the suspicions of the Brazilian fans with an uncontested toe poke from the back post on a poorly defended free kick.