|Major Honours||World Cup (5), Copa America (9), Confederations Cup (4)|
Five-time World Cup winners, nine time Copa America winners and Olympic gold medallists - Planet Sport profiles the greatest national soccer team in history.
Brazil played their first official game in 1914. Over a century later, they have appeared in all 21 FIFA World Cups and have won the tournament five times.
They have also played in 36 Copa Americas with nine titles and have won four of seven Confederations Cups.
Brazil are the only national team to have won the World Cup on four different continents and are one of three nations to win the three most prestigious events overseen by FIFA - The World Cup, the Confederations Cup and Olympic Gold.
They have been named FIFA Team of the Year a record 12 times.
The first game in Brazil's history was a 1914 match in Rio de Janeiro against English club Exeter City.
Their first major title came in the 1919 South American Championships and they won the event again in 1922. Their next major title came at the South American Championships in 1949, ending a 27-year title drought.
Early years at the World Cup
Brazil played in the inaugural World Cup in 1930 in Uruguay. They lost their opening game 2-1 against Yugoslavia and beat Bolivia 4-0 in the group stage. Preguinho scored three of Brazil's five goals, but they didn't advance from the group.
After losing in their Round of 16 game in 1934, Brazil had moderate success in the 1938 tournament in France. They beat Portugal 6-5 and the Czech Republic 2-1 before losing 2-1 in the semi-finals to Italy, the eventual champions.
Brazil finished the tournament with a 4-2 win over Sweden in the third-place game as Leonidas led the tournament with seven goals.
Brazil hosted the 1950 World Cup and swept through the group stage with two wins and a draw.
The 1950 tournament did not have a knockout stage, instead having a final group stage. In the first game, Brazil blasted Sweden 7-1 as Ademir scored four goals and they then went on to beat Spain 6-1.
However, a shock 2-1 defeat to Uruguay at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro left the Brazilians one point short of their first World Cup title.
The 1954 World Cup was held in Switzerland and Brazil beat Mexico 5-0 before drawing 1-1 with Yugoslavia in the group stage. In the knockout round, they fell to Hungary 4-2 in the quarter-finals.
Back to back World Cup wins
The breakthrough finally came in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden under manager Vicente Feola. Brazil opened the group stage with a 3-0 win over Austria before a goalless draw against England and a 2-0 win over the Soviet Union.
Seventeen-year-old Pele scored his first World Cup goal in a 1-0 quarter-final win over Wales, and his hat-trick gave Brazil a 5-2 victory over France five days later.
In the final, Pele scored twice, as did Vava, as the Brazilians beat the hosts 5-2 to claim the trophy.
Four years later, Brazil retained the World Cup trophy in Chile under manager Aymore Moreira.
Pele scored in the 2-0 group stage win over Mexico and Amarildo scored twice in a 2-1 win over Spain.
Vava and Garrincha combined for all seven goals in a 3-1 quarter-final win over England and a 4-2 semi-final win over hosts Chile.
The final was a rematch of a 0-0 group stage tie against Czechoslovakia. After falling behind early, Amarildo, Zito and Vava each scored as Brazil retained the title with a 3-1 win.
Pele scored once but Brazil surprisingly crashed out at the group stage of the 1966 World Cup in England with losses to Hungary and Portugal.
Return to the top
Many consider the 1970 Brazil team to be the best of all time as they triumphed in Mexico under manager Mario Zagallo.
Pele scored in the opening game, a 4-1 win over Czechoslovakia, and Brazil shutout England 1-0 in the next group game.
Pele netted twice as Brazil swept through the group stage with a 3-2 win over Romania. In the quarter-finals they thumped Peru 4-2 and dispatched Uruguay 3-1 in the semi-finals.
The final against Italy was played in front of 107,412 fans at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Pele opened the scoring in the 16th minute and Gerson, Jairzinho and Carlos Alberto all scored in the second half of a 4-1 win.
Pele retired before the 1974 World Cup in West Germany and a Brazilian team in transition finished fourth with a 1-0 loss to Poland.
The 1978 team never lost at the World Cup in Argentina but a tie against the host country left them in the third place game which they won 2-1 over Italy.
In 1982 they were knocked out of the second group stage by Italy 3-2 and finished outside the top four for the first time since 1966.
They missed the podium again in 1986 in Mexico with a penalty shootout loss to France in the quarter-finals after beating Poland 4-0 in the Round of 16.
In Italy four years later, Brazil lost to bitter rivals Argentina 1-0 in the Round of 16 after winning all three group stage games.
Consecutive finals: triumph and heartbreak
The 1994 World Cup in the United States saw Brazil return to the top of the soccer world under manager Carlos Alberto Parreira.
They easily advanced from the group stage before beating a determined US team 1-0 in the Round of 16. Branco scored in the 81st minute to beat the Netherlands 3-2 in the quarter-finals and Romario had the only goal in a 1-0 semi-final win over Sweden.
In front of 94,194 fans at the Rose Bowl, Brazil then won their first World Cup in 24 years with a 3-2 penalty shootout win over Italy following a goalless draw.
Ronaldo burst onto the stage at the 1998 World Cup with a goal in the group stage and two more in a 4-1 Round-of-16 win over Chile.
Brazil beat Denmark 3-2 in the quarter-finals and converted all of their penalties in a semi-final shootout win over the Netherlands.
But Brazil fell 3-0 to the hosts in the final as France claimed their first World Cup title.
New millennium, same Brazil
The Brazilians were right back on top four years later at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan under manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Ronaldo scored their first group stage goal in a 2-1 win over Turkey and both he and Ronaldinho scored in a 4-0 win over China.
Ronaldo bagged a brace as Brazil finished the group with a 5-2 win over Costa Rica. The knockout round belonged to Ronaldo as he scored in the Round of 16 and semi-finals before scoring both goals in the 2-0 World Cup final win over Germany.
Ronaldo scored three more goals at the 2006 World Cup in Germany but Brazil lost to France in the quarter-finals.
In South Africa at the 2010 World Cup, Brazil suffered their first non-penalty shootout loss outside of Europe in 56 years with a 2-1 quarter-final defeat to the Netherlands.
Embarrassment on home soil
The 2014 World Cup was a showcase for Brazil as they hosted the tournament for the first time since 1950.
Youngster Neymar was the star with two goals in a 3-1 opening game win over Croatia and two more in a 4-1 group stage win over Cameroon.
Brazil beat Chile in a penalty shootout in the Round of 16 and dispatched Colombia 2-1 in the quarter-finals.
The semi-final was a nightmare though; a 7-1 loss to Germany, the biggest defeat for Brazil since 1920.
Brazil cruised through the group stage in the 2018 World Cup in Russia and Neymar scored again in the Round of 16 win over Mexico. However, Belgium ended their run with a 2-1 win in the quarter-finals.
Rivalry with Argentina
Brazil's biggest rivals are their neighbours Argentina.
The teams first met in 1914 and have played over 100 times, with some memorable clashes in major tournaments. They first met in a World Cup in 1978, with the game ending goalless.
Brazil beat Argentina 3-1 in 1982 as Diego Maradona picked up a red card. Their most recent World Cup meeting was in 1990, when Argentina won 1-0.
Argentina beat Brazil the first eight times the teams met in the final of the South America/Copa America Championship.
In 2004 and 2006, the Brazilians beat Argentina for the title. Brazil also beat Argentina 4-1 in the 2005 Confederations Cup final in Germany.
The list of distinguished Brazilian stars is long and legendary.
It starts with Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele. Not only was he part of three World Cup winning sides (the only person ever to achieve this feat), but Pele still holds Brazil's record for most goals scored with 77. He achieved this in just 92 games at an average of 0.84 goals per game.
Neymar (64), Ronaldo (62), Romario (55) and Zico (48) are next on Brazil's goal scoring list. Ronaldinho scored 33 goals in 97 games while stars like Garrincha, Rivellino, Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo and Kaka are considered among the best of their eras.
The most capped player in Brazil's history is Cafu, who played 142 games between 1990 and 2006. He ranks just ahead of Roberto Carlos (125), Dani Alves (118), Lucio (105) and Neymar (103).
- Jan 22, 2021