Mini football figure - Brazil
Miniature football player with kit of the national team of Brazil.
Our football players are casted in metal, and afterwards painted with care and sense for detail. Also discover our other football players.
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The Brazilian national football team, called Seleção (Portuguese for "selection"), is a squad of top players assembled by the Brazilian national coach. It represents the Brazilian football association, the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (C.B.F.), at international level in friendly matches and international tournaments.
With five titles won, it is the world's most successful national football team at World Cups. The last World Cup victory was achieved in 2002. Brazil was ranked second in the FIFA World Ranking of February 2022.
1914-1938: Rise to the top of the world
The national team's first official match was against English club side Exeter City in 1914 and was won 2-0.
In 1916, Brazil took part in the Campeonato Sudamericano de Fútbol, which was held for the first time. In 1919, Brazil won this South American championship for the first time.
Participation in the 1921 Campeonato was overshadowed by racism against the coloured players. Weeks before the tournament, MPs expressed concern in a parliamentary debate that a dark-skinned team could make Brazil look like a semi-civilised country. They pointed out that Brazilian players had been called "macaquitos" (monkeys) by Argentineans at the 1917 Campeonato Sudamericano. On the eve of the nomination of the Brazilian squad, Brazilian President Epitácio Lindolfo da Silva Pessoa summoned the president of the Confederação Brasileira de Desportos (CBD) and declared that no coloured players could be fielded. President Pessoa's intervention did not prove successful. The all-white team only came second in the 1921 Campeonato Sudamericano without the black stars.
1938-1954: Historic defeat at the Maracanã
Due to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, no World Cup was held until 1950. In 1950, Brazil hosted the first World Cup after the war. Unlike its European competitors, Brazil had suffered little from the Second World War. Football operations had continued virtually undisturbed and Brazil could call on a large number of talented players. Brazil, together with England, were therefore considered high favourites to win the tournament. It was unique in the history of the World Cup that the World Champion was determined in two group phases without a final match. However, the last group match between Brazil and Uruguay became the final of this tournament, in which a draw would have been enough for Brazil. In front of 199,854 fanatical Cariocas at the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil initially took a 1-0 lead. Uruguay equalised midway through the second half. Ten minutes before the end, Uruguay scored the decisive goal to win the match and the World Cup. 16 July 1950 was Brazilian football's darkest hour to date. Never before had the disappointment been greater. The fact that the white kit worn by the Brazilian national team until that day was "banned" and Brazil has been playing in yellow and blue kit ever since is proof of how great it was. The match at the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro has since been known in South America as the "Maracanaço". After that, Brazil did not play an international match for two years.
To forget the Maracanã defeat, the Brazilian team was almost completely replaced for the 1954 World Cup. However they were eliminated in the 1/4-finals by Hungary, who had been undefeated for four years. The 4-2 defeat against the tournament favourites was known as the "Battle of Bern".
1958-1971: The era of Pelé with three World Cup titles
The World Cup in Sweden in 1958 marked the beginning of the era of Pelé, who made his mark on the tournament. Brazil won their first World Cup title with the young Pelé, defeating hosts Sweden 5-2 in the highest-scoring final in World Cup history. With six goals, he finished joint 2nd in the scoring charts with Helmut Rahn and scored the first headed goal in a final.
Brazil defended their title at the World Cup in Chile in 1962. This time they beat the CSSR 3:1 in the final, having drawn 0:0 in the first stage match. Pelé got injured in this match and was ruled out for the rest of the World Cup, so Garrincha took centre stage.
At the World Cup in England in 1966, Brazil became the second reigning world champions (after Italy in 1950) to be eliminated in the first round. The over-aged team was unable to win against Hungary (1-3) and Portugal (1-3) in the first stage after Pelé's retirement due to injury. With Brazil's elimination, the title favourite was surprisingly eliminated.
The third World Cup title followed in Mexico in 1970. After a never-threatening sweep and a 4-1 win over Italy in the final, Brazil retained the Coupe Jules Rimet by winning the title for the third time. Mário Zagallo also became the first coach to win the title at this tournament, having previously been world champion as a player (1958 and 1962). The 1970 Seleção was subsequently named one of the best teams of all time on several occasions for its style of play and triumphs.
In 1971, Pelé ended his career with the national team. In 1972, Brazil still won the Taça Independência, also known as the "Mini-Copa", an international tournament in which 18 national teams and two continental representatives took part. However, the world's best teams such as Poland, Italy, Germany or the Netherlands did not travel to this tournament. Brazil also managed to break the previous record of undefeated (32 times by Hungary) by beating Scotland 1-0 and remain unbeaten for 33 games in a row. After the tournament, Tostão also ended his national team career, meaning that another important pillar of the 1970 team had left the team alongside Pele and Carlos Alberto Torres.
1974-1990: "Dry spell" without a World Cup title
After Pele and other stars had retired from the Brazilian national team, they played a disappointing tournament at the 1974 World Cup in Germany. Against the top favourites from the Netherlands and their "total football" they could not prevail and lost 0:2. Brazil finished the tournament in 4th place after a 0:1 defeat in the match for 3rd place against Poland.
The result at the 1978 World Cup was controversial from the Brazilians' point of view. In the Second Final Round, Brazil competed with hosts Argentina for the first place entitling them to a place in the final after the direct encounter ended goalless. Brazil's final group match was played before Argentina's, which meant Argentina knew before the match that they had to win by a four-goal difference. The match against Peru was won 6-0, and the eventual world champions Argentina qualified for the final on the basis of a better goal difference. They finished third with a 2-1 victory over Italy. In 1983, they reached the final of the Copa América, but lost again to Uruguay.
At the 1982 World Cup, Brazil were considered favourites and the national team, with top players such as Zico, Falcão, Toninho Cerezo, Éder Aleixo and Sócrates, showed attacking football under coach Telê Santana. Brazil played a 4-2-2-2 system in this tournament. Luizinho and Oscar played in central defence, while the two wing-backs Leandro and Junior helped support the attack. Toninho Cerezo and Falcao, Socrates and Zico, as well as Eder and Serginho then formed the midfield and attack, with all players acting very flexibly and making it difficult for opponents to assess them. Brazil won all their group matches in the preliminary round and met Argentina and Italy in the first final round. In the first match, Argentina was defeated 3:1. The World Cup favourites would have needed a draw in the second match to reach the semi-finals, but in a classic of World Cup history they lost 3-2 to Italy, with Paolo Rossi scoring all three goals for the eventual world champions. Before that, he had not scored a single goal in four games.
During the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, Brazil, with Telê Santana and some of the 1982 players, were able to build on the spellbinding performance of the previous World Cup. Brazil lost to France 4:5 in the 1/4-finals after a penalty shoot-out, with Zico missing a penalty kick during regulation time. The tournament also marked the end of an era. National coach Santana, Falcao, Zico and Socrates resigned from the national team. Toninho Cerezo had already resigned in 1985 and Eder Aleixo was no longer even considered because he had not reached his form.
A new team was built around the players Romario, Bebeto, Taffarel and Dunga, which won the Copa America in 1989 and went to the 1990 World Cup as joint favourites.
At the World Cup in 1990, the Brazilians managed to get through the preliminary round. In the last 16, Brazil were eliminated by Argentina despite their best performance of the tournament. They created chance after chance but were still beaten by their South American rivals. A combination of Maradona and Caniggia nine minutes from time gave Argentina a 1-0 victory.
1994-2006: Two more world titles
24 years after winning their third title, the Seleção won their fourth at the 1994 World Cup in the USA. Coach Parreira played a defensive 4-4-2 system. Romario and Bebeto formed the offensive duo and together scored eight of Brazil's eleven goals. Another key player was captain Dunga, who played in left defensive midfield. For the first time in a World Cup final, a penalty shoot-out decided the World Cup after 120 goalless minutes in the match against Italy. Brazil won 3-2, with Roberto Baggio, who had previously scored five goals in Italy's run to the final, missing the decisive spot-kick. The 17-year-old Ronaldo was part of the Brazilian squad but did not feature in the tournament. He was to develop into a top striker over the next few years.
Brazil arrived at the World Cup in 1998 as one of the favourites. In 1997 they had won the Copa America and had world stars in Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos and Cafu in their team. Despite losing 2-1 to Norway in the preliminary round, Brazil won their group and won against the Netherlands in the semi-finals. However, in the final they lost 3-0 to hosts France, with Zinédine Zidane scoring two goals to give the French the win.
The Brazilians won their fifth World Cup title at the World Cup in Japan and South Korea in 2002. The record world champions were not among the top favourites as they were in 1998. Defending champions France, Argentina and runners-up Italy were considered stronger at the time. However, France and Argentina were eliminated in the preliminary round, Italy in the round of 16. Brazil won every match. The top performers were Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Cafu, Roberto Carlos and the young Ronaldinho. The final was won 2:0 against the second most successful German team at World Cups so far. It was also the first time that the national teams of Brazil and Germany had faced each other in a World Cup. The GDR team had previously faced the Seleção at the 1974 World Cup. The match was decided by Ronaldo, who scored both goals and was also the tournament's top scorer with eight goals.
At the 2006 World Cup, the Seleção were in Group F with Croatia, Australia and Japan. They won their first group match 1-0 against Croatia, before beating Australia 2-0 in their second match. In both games, they were not convincing in terms of play. This did not change in their last match against Japan, which they won 4-1 after trailing 1-0. In this match Ronaldo scored his 14th goal at a World Cup finals and thus equalled Gerd Müller's 32-year-old record. In the round of 16 against Ghana, he scored his 15th World Cup goal in the 5th minute, making him the sole record holder. The Seleção won the match against Ghana 3-0. Their second goal in this match was very controversial because the goal scorer Adriano was in a clear offside position. The third goal was scored by Zé Roberto. Ghana were equal for a long time, but did not take advantage of their scoring opportunities. In the end, the team was eliminated in the 1/4-finals by France, the eventual runners-up, with a 1-0 defeat, thus failing to take advantage of the opportunity to avenge their defeat in the 1998 final.
The team's performance, which was disappointing for Brazilian expectations, triggered heated discussions about the sporting preparation for the tournament and the playing strategy of coach Carlos Alberto Parreira during the competition. Sports journalists in international newspapers had already criticised in the run-up to the tournament, after 14 public training sessions in Weggis, Switzerland, that the training methods had been too much geared to the Seleção's media and commercial image than to sporting fitness. Brazilian media described the footballing performance, which was judged to be less than virtuosic for the entire tournament, as "bureaucrat football". Particularly disappointing was the performance of Ronaldinho, who had been touted as a future World Cup star. He was a far cry from his performance at the 2005 Confed Cup, when Brazil beat Germany 3-2 in the semi-finals and then won the final 4-1 against Argentina.
2006-2014: Two disappointing World Cups and the "Mineirão shock
Carlos Dunga subsequently replaced Parreira as national coach.
In the 2010 World Cup Brazil failed to reach the 1/4-finals for the second time in succession. National coach Dunga was immediately sacked by the association and the team was greeted by angry fans on their return home in Rio de Janeiro.
Shortly after the World Cup, in July 2010, it was announced that Mano Menezes would be the new coach of the Brazilian national team.
The Copa America got off to a slow start for Brazil with a 0-0 draw against Venezuela in their first group match. They started with the following starting line-up in a 4-2-3-1: J. César - D. Alves, Lúcio, T. Silva, A. Santos - Lucas Leiva, Ramires - Robinho, Ganso, Neymar - Pato. The Seleção were also not convincing in the second match and came to a 2:2 draw against Paraguay. Menezes made one change from the first game, bringing on Jádson for Robinho. He gave Brazil a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute, which Paraguay converted in eleven minutes through Santa Cruz (55th) and Valdez (67th) to take a 2-1 lead. In the 90th minute Fred scored to make it 2-2 for the Brazilians. In the last group match, the Seleção needed a win against Ecuador to advance to the 1/4-finals. Menezes made two changes from the game against Paraguay, bringing on Robinho for Jadson and Maicon for Daniel Alves. The Seleção took the lead against Ecuador in the 29th minute through Pato. In the 50th minute, Neymar scored to make it 2-1 after Ecuador equalised through Caicedo (50th). In the 59th minute it was Caicedo again who scored to equalise 2:2. In the end, Pato (61st) and Neymar (72nd) made the 4:2 victory against Ecuador clear.
In the 1/4-finals they met Paraguay again, who qualified for the knockout phase as one of the two best third-placed teams in the group. Brazil fielded the same team that beat Ecuador 4-2. The Seleção were better in the match but missed chances, sending the game into extra time in which neither side created any chances. After a scuffle, Lucas Leiva and Paraguay's Alcaraz were sent off for assault (103rd). The result was a penalty shoot-out in which Brazil missed all four of their penalties. Elano was the first to shoot, but he missed the ball. After Paraguay also missed their penalty, Thiago Silva stepped up and failed to hit goalkeeper Justo Villar. Estigarribia converted the second penalty for Paraguay to make it 1-0, and the Seleção's third shooter André Santos also failed to score, sending the ball well over the goal. Riveros then converted to make it 2-0 for Paraguay. Fred missed the last penalty to the left of the goal, which meant that the Seleção failed to reach the 1/4-finals, as they had done at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
On 10 August 2011, Brazil lost a match against Germany for the first time since 17 November 1993, when they lost 3-2 in Stuttgart. In 2012, the Seleção played several test matches, mainly using players who were still under 23 years of age and who would then represent Brazil at the Olympic football tournament in London, where Brazil was aiming to win the gold medal for the first time. After five wins in the group stage, 1/4-finals and semi-finals, in which 3 goals were scored each time, Brazil lost the final 2-1 to Mexico. After the Olympics, Brazil, building on the core of the Olympic team, did win several games, but after a 2-1 loss on 21. Menezes was fired and was succeeded by Scolari, who was assisted by Carlos Alberto Parreira as technical director. Brazil has won the World Cup once with both of them (2002 and 1994 respectively).
The 1st match under Scolari's leadership in February 2013 was a 2-1 loss against England, and the next four matches were drawn before the first win came in a 3-0 defeat of France. The following Confederations Cup in 2013 was won by Brazil after a lossless group stage and a 2-1 semi-final win over Uruguay, with a 3-0 win over Spain in the final. In their first match after the Confederations Cup, the Seleçao suffered another defeat when they lost 1-0 to Switzerland in Basel. This defeat was also Brazil's first loss against Switzerland since 1989. Brazil won all subsequent matches. The team around Neymar was unable to meet the high expectations at the World Cup 2014 at home. Although Brazil advanced to the semi-finals, they were beaten 7-1 by Germany in a match played on 8 July 2014 without their injured striker. For the Seleção, the encounter, also known as the Mineiraço (roughly meaning "shock of Mineirão"), was the first home defeat in a competitive match since 1975 and the highest defeat in their tournament history. In the final match for third place, Brazil lost 3-0 to the Netherlands and finished only fourth in the World Cup.
Since 2014: New start after the home World Cup
Brazil won their first ten matches after the World Cup, all of which were friendlies, including a 2-0 win over Argentina in the Superclássico das Américas. This made Brazil one of the favourites for the Copa América 2015, which was held in Chile. The team started with a 2-1 win over Peru, followed by a 1-0 loss to Colombia. In this match, Neymar received a red card for assault and was subsequently suspended for the rest of the tournament. The decisive last group match was won 2-1 against Venezuela, which put them into the 1/4-finals. In the 1/4-finals, they were defeated by Paraguay on penalties. This was the first time in the history of the national team that Brazil had been eliminated in the 1/4-finals twice in a row. In the first six games in the South American World Cup qualifiers, the Brazilians won only two matches and thus only finished in sixth place.
In the following Copa America, they were eliminated in the preliminary round. Following the tournament, Carlos Dunga was dismissed. Tite became the new coach. Under him, the Seleção became the first team after hosts Russia to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and replaced Argentina at the top of the FIFA World Ranking in April 2017. With twelve wins and 41 points, Brazil finished the World Cup qualifiers as group winners. The 2017 calendar year ended with a 3-1 loss to Japan in Lille, France, and a goalless draw with England at Wembley Stadium in London. The new year began with a 3-0 win in Moscow against Russia and a 1-0 win at the Olympiastadion in Berlin against Germany in their first meeting since a 7-1 defeat in the World Cup 2014 semi-finals, before the World Cup squad was announced in May 2018. In the group stage at the World Cup finals, Brazil faced Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. A 1-1 draw with Switzerland and after that a 2-0 win over Costa Rica with two late goals from Philippe Coutinho and Neymar, before a 2-0 win over Serbia clinched the group win. In the round of 16, Brazil beat Mexico 2-0 before Tite's side were knocked out of the tournament with a 2-1 loss to Belgium in the 1/4-finals.
In the eight matches that followed until March 2019, there was one draw in eight wins. Meanwhile, Arthur and David Neres, among others, made their debuts for the Seleçao. In the first stage at the Copa América 2019 at home, Brazil will face Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru. After a draw against Venezuela and two wins against Bolivia and Peru, the Brazilian side qualified for the 1/4-finals, where they beat Paraguay on penalties for the first time. Arch-rivals Argentina were beaten in the semi-finals and Brazil won the Copa América for the first time since 2007 by beating Peru in the final.
Brazil's participation in World Cups
Brazil is the only national team to have participated in every World Cup final round and is also the only team to have won a World Cup title on three of the four continents where World Cup tournaments have been held. They broke the streak of European teams always winning in Europe and American teams always winning in the Americas with their 1958 World Cup victory in Sweden; and they won once more on another continent in Japan and South Korea in 2002. However, the Brazilian team is the only world champion, apart from Spain, not to have won a title on home soil.
Brazil has made it past the preliminary round or first round 17 times. Only at the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay and the 1966 World Cup in England did the Brazilian national team drop out in the preliminary round, and at the 1934 World Cup in Italy in the first round (round of 16). Brazil became the first country to win the World Cup for the third time (1970) and the fourth time (1994), and the only country so far to win the World Cup for the fifth time (2002). The third victory, which made Brazil record world champions, meant that the first World Cup trophy became Brazil's property. Brazilian players were the most frequent World Cup top scorers (four times), with Garrincha being chosen by lot in 1962 as five other players, including Brazilian Vavá, scored the same number of goals. With Ronaldo, Brazil provided the most successful World Cup scorer from 2006 to 2014 (15 goals), since the World Cup 2014 semi-final Miroslav Klose has been more successful. With 109 matches, Brazil has played the most World Cup matches together with Germany, has won the most matches with 73 victories and has scored the most World Cup goals with 229 goals and leads the perpetual World Cup table.
The yellow and blue jerseys were first designed by Aldyr Schlee after the 1950 World Cup defeat at home to Uruguay. Before that, the Seleção played in white jerseys. The white jersey was reintroduced in 2019 after 50 years. For the 2019 Copa América, it will once again be used as the away jersey. However, not completely white, as in the 1950 defeat, the shorts will remain blue.
- 61 mm
- 40 gramms