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Copa America 2024 Team Previews: Brazil

Brazil Copa America 2024 Preview
(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)

Copa America 2024 Team Previews: Brazil

The 2024 Copa America begins on June 20th in the U.S., with 10 CONMEBOL and six CONCACAF teams set to compete in the tournament. Over the next couple of weeks, we will preview every team playing in the competition. Next up is the 2021 runners-up: Brazil.

You would be hard-pressed to find a more famous soccer nation than Brazil. Currently ranked 5th in the FIFA rankings, the Brazilians are always a factor at every international tournament they appear in. They have reached the final of the last two Copas, winning one and losing the last edition to a Lionel Messi-led Argentina side that would later go on and win the World Cup.

However, this is not the Brazil team of the past. The nation’s all-time leading goalscorer Neymar did not make the Copa squad and Brazilian legend Ronaldinho even threatened not to watch this Brazil team at the Copa America. Although they remain one of the favorites to win this summer’s tournament, it will be interesting to see how the Seleção shows up when it really matters.

Copa America Appearances

This will be Brazil’s 37th Copa America appearance. The first came in 1916.

Best Finish in Copa America

Brazil has won nine Copa America titles, the third most of any nation behind Argentina and Uruguay. The most recent title came in 2019.

Key Players

With no Neymar in this squad, Brazil is transitioning to a new group of stars headlined by Real Madrid’s Vinicius Júnior. He is now the face of Brazil’s attack and his speed, dribbling, goal-scoring ability and flair will be needed if Brazil wants to win the Copa.

His Madrid teammate Rodrygo will also be a key part of the Brazilian attack, as will Raphinha (Barcelona), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) and the highly-praised 17-year-old Endrick (Palmeiras). In the midfield, Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Lucas Paquetá (West Ham) and Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle) will be heavily relied on.

Defensively, expect to see Marquinhos (PSG) and Éder Militão (Real Madrid) be Brazil’s center-back pairing. With Ederson (Manchester City) out injured, Alisson (Liverpool) will be Brazil’s starting goalkeeper, and his shot-stopping ability will be key to Brazil’s success.

Manager

Dorival Júnior is relatively new to the Brazil setup, just taking the head coaching job in January. Prior to this, he managed many of Brazil’s biggest clubs, including Internacional, Flamengo, Palmeiras, Santos and São Paulo. He also played professionally in Brazil but was never capped by the national team.

Biggest Game — vs Colombia on July 2nd

This is as exciting of a matchup as you can find in the group stage. Brazil should not struggle with Paraguay or Costa Rica, the other teams composing Group D, but Colombia is a different story. The Colombians are unbeaten in 23 games and have won their last eight, including a 5-1 thrashing of the U.S. earlier in June. If Brazil wants to win the group, they will need to win this game. They have the players to do it, but with the form Colombia is in, this will be a very difficult game for the Seleção.

Prediction

You always have to back the Brazilians. Colombia will give them a strong test in the group stage, but I expect that this Brazil team will have no problem with Paraguay or Costa Rica. Once in the knockout stages, Brazil will do what they do best, and I would be shocked to not see the Seleção at least reach the semifinal of this summer’s Copa America.


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