Can Home Advantage Propel Brazil to World Cup Glory?

Callum FoxContributor IIIAugust 16, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 30:  General view during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Final match between Brazil and Spain at Maracana on June 30, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

With less than a year to go to Brazil 2014, the Selecao are already gearing up for their first World Cup on Brazilian soil in 63 years, hoping that home advantage will pay dividends in their pursuit of a historic sixth victory.

The pressure is on Luiz Felipe Scolari and his side to bring home the most prestigious prize in international football, with fans demanding nothing less than complete domination from start to finish.

They expect a first World Cup victory at home in order to dispel the ghosts of the Maracanazo.

For the last time they hosted FIFA's premier event in 1950, they crashed to a 1-0 defeat to Uruguay in infamous circumstances at the final in the Maracana stadium.

But Brazil hold the advantage this time around.


A Renewed Support

Their Confederations Cup triumph was a huge confidence-booster in more ways than one.

In recent years, attendances at the Brasileirao have been declining dramatically due to rising ticket prices and clubs pricing the average worker out of the game.

But the tournament in June was fabulously well-attended, with the raucous Selecao supporters maintaining a carnival atmosphere while driving the national team to glory.

Because if nothing else, Brazilians take immense pride in the Selecao. 

This pride triumphs over club rivalries, dissatisfaction at the inept CBF and anger at rising prices. The Selecao comes first for every Brazilian man, woman and child.

Scolari can count on their support at Brazil 2014.


A New Generation

The Selecao have reason to be confident ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, as a new generation of domestic players have come to the fore.

Now more than ever, the Selecao have formed a backbone of domestic players from the Brasileirao who are used to the conditions of the pitches and weather in the host nation.

Even if players such as Paulinho and Bernard have left the country since the Confederations Cup, they still know what it is like to ply their trade in the stifling summer heat. 

European nations will most likely be caught out by the high temperatures of Brazil, which averages around 25 degrees Celsius.

Only their fellow South Americans will understand just how high the temperature gauge can climb and adapt to the heat.

The likes of Spain, Germany and England will have to adjust quickly or risk crashing out earlier than they had anticipated.


A New Leader

And most of all, they have Neymar.

The former Santos starlet destroyed defences on a regular basis in the Brasileirao and has now taken his game to Europe in the lead-up to Brazil 2014.

Completing a €57 million move to Barcelona, Neymar is perfectly poised to improve his game even more by competing alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi in the Champions League.

After a sensational Confederations Cup performance, Neymar has already proven much of his critics wrong, and he will be eager to continue that trend in La Liga.

Scolari will certainly be hoping that the young star will return to Brazil next summer as a much more complete player in order to lead the Selecao to glory.


A New Home

Brazil have a renewed spiritual home.

The Estadio do Maracana is one of the most famous stadiums in world football, having played host to the Brazilian national team since its inception in 1950.

And now it has been renovated for the World Cup, having already hosted the Confederations Cup final.

Should Brazil make it to the final next summer, the Maracana will be packed to the rafters full of screaming Selecao supporters urging their team on to a sixth World Cup victory.

To add another star to the famous yellow and green shirts of the Selecao in the home of Brazilian football would be the sweetest triumph of all.