Team profile: Brazil
Coach: Kleiton Lima is the man charged with leading Brazil to Women's World Cup glory for the first time. The 37-year-old took over the reins in 2009 and his first match ended in a 1-1 tie against Germany in a friendly in Frankfurt. Lima, known for his laid-back approach, spent a decade coaching the Santos women's team, and also acted as a scout for Brazil at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States.
Goalkeepers: Andreia, Barbara, Thais
Defenders: Aline, Daiane, Erika, Roseane
Midfielders: Beatriz, Elaine, Ester, Formiga, Francielle, Grazielle, Maurine, Renata, Rosana
Forwards: Cristiane, Daniele, Fabiana, Marta, Thais Guedes
1ST ROUND MATCHES (GROUP D)
- June 29 — vs. Australia in Monchengladbach
- July 3 — vs. Norway in Wolfsburg
- July 6 — vs. Equatorial Guinea in Frankfurt
Strengths: Brazil knows how to score — they bagged 25 goals in seven matches during the qualifiers… The South Americans boast Marta, the best player in the world, who can change the course of a game in an instant with a brilliant piece of magic… Brazil is solid at the back, as evidenced by it stellar defensive record (two goals against in seven matches) during the qualifiers.
Weaknesses: Are Brazil too reliant on strikers Marta and Cristiane, who combined for 17 of their team's 25 goals during the World Cup qualifiers?... You have to question Brazil's mental state after it lost to Germany in the World Cup final four years ago and to the U.S. in the gold-medal game at the 2008 Olympics… They have a tendency to ease up in games when they take the lead.
Player to watch: Marta — One name says it all. Marta is quite simply the finest player of her generation - perhaps the best ever. In her native Brazil, the 25-year-old striker is celebrated as the female Pele and with good reason. Marta's extraordinary ability has seen her crowned FIFA World Player of the Year an unprecedented five years running (2006-2010).
Prospects in Germany: As the seeded team in Group D, Brazil will be expected to comfortably win its section. Anything less would be seen as a major upset. If the ranking goes to form, Brazil will avoid the U.S. in the quarter-finals and likely meet either Sweden or North Korea. Many believe Brazil will again reach the final, which could be a repeat of the 2007 final against Germany.
- Soccer Confederation: South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)
- Current FIFA world ranking: 3
- Team nickname: A Selecao Brasileira, Samba Queens
- Team colours: yellow jerseys/blue shorts
ROAD TO THE WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
2011 qualification route: Brazil qualified as 2010 South American (CONMEBOL) Champions. They clinched their fifth continental title in style with seven straight wins during the tournament hosted by Ecuador. Marta was top scorer with nine goals, closely followed by her teammate Cristiane who notched eight of her own.
- Qualification record: 7 wins, 0 losses, 0 ties
- Goals for: 25
- Goals against: 2
- Top goal-scorer in qualifying: Marta (9)
- Nov. 5, 2010 — Brazil 4, Venezuela 0
- Nov. 7, 2010 — Brazil 4, Uruguay 0
- Nov. 11, 2010 — Brazil 2, Colombia 1
- Nov. 13, 2010 — Brazil 3, Paraguay 0
- Nov. 17, 2010 — Brazil 4, Argentina 0
- Nov. 19, 2010 — Brazil 5, Colombia 0
- Nov. 21, 2010 — Brazil 3, Chile 1
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP HISTORY
Brazil has qualified for every FIFA Women's World Cup since 1991. After bowing out in the group stage the first two times, the South Americans enjoyed a major breakthrough at 1999 tournament in the United States when they won a bronze medal, upending perennial tournament favourites Norway in penalty kicks.
Brazil nearly reached the semifinals again in 2003, but lost a close 2-1 decision to eventual World Cup runn ers-up Sweden. In 2007, Brazil upset the United States in the semifinals, before losing to Germany in the tournament finale.
- Hosted the Women's World Cup: Never
- Number of previous Women's World Cup appearances: 5
- All-time record: 12 wins, 7 losses, 3 ties
- Goals for: 46
- Goals against: 32
- All-time top scorer: Marta (10)
- 1991 — First round
- 1995 — First round
- 1999 — Bronze medal
- 2003 — Quarter-finals
- 2007 — Finalist