Odds of winning the World Cup: +450
Most important player: Neymar
Why they will win it all: Due to the nature of what could be the most passionate football culture in the world, Brazil will always be seen as the favorites to win the Golden Ball. For me it is indisputable that they regularly have the most talented teams in every tournament. These are teams that, on paper, rival any of the domestic big fish in the Premier League or Bundesliga.
Creativity, Speed. Instinct. Plume. The Brazilians always have it all, which is why they have the most World Cups (five). They might as well be a team of fate.
But call me an unbeliever in this group. For some reason, something always trips fate. In 2014, they were trailed 7-1 by eventual champions Germany on their home turf in the quarter-finals. In 2018, also in the quarters, Belgium dispatched the “Seleção” relatively easily for a 2-1 victory. If they can lose these kinds of games, they can lose to anyone despite their incredible gifts.
Brazil have the “easier” side of the bracket and could win it all anyway. In this case, I clearly needed to replace the battery in my pristine plastic crystal ball.
Soccer Expert™ Projected Finish: Defeat in the quarter-finals