The road to Colombia
Brazil's credentials as favourites were put to the test in their opening two fixtures of the South American qualifying tournament, in which they only just edged past Venezuela (2-1) and hosts Paraguay (1-0). However, after that they took it up a notch and showed themselves to be head and shoulders above the rest of the field. First, they crushed Ecuador and Peru 14-0 and 6-0 respectively to seal the top spot in their group. Next up, they eased past Uruguay 4-1 in the semi-finals to book their ticket to Colombia and, last but not least, they saw off Argentina 4-0 in the final, in the process reclaiming a title they had lost four years earlier.
Strengths and style
Brazil have managed to constantly remain in the upper echelons of the game thanks to their ability to reinvent themselves, and the current side, coached by Serginho Schiochet, are no exception. A tally of 31 goals scored in six qualifying matches – even in Falcao's absence – speaks volumes of their firepower, and they only conceded twice to boot. While the two-time adidas Golden Ball winner will be back to spearhead his country's charge in Colombia, where he will be featuring in his fifth World Cup, the team are also blessed with a wealth of experience elsewhere in the likes of fellow double world champions Tiago and Ari. In addition, other individuals who shone in Thailand – such as Je and Fernandinho – are still going strong, while several exciting youngsters have burst on to the scene, including Pito and particularly Bateria, the star man in qualifying. Given all of the above, A Seleção must be considered firm contenders for the crown.
FIFA Futsal World Cup record
With five titles under their belt, Brazil are the most successful country in the history of the event, at which they have been ever-present. The Auriverdes ruled the roost with an iron fist in the opening editions, consecutively capturing the trophy at Netherlands 1989, Hong Kong 1992 and Spain 1996. It was Spain who broke this stranglehold in the final at Guatemala 2000 before again prevailing in a titanic semi-final tussle in Chinese Taipei in 2004, when the Brazilians finished third. However, the Canarinho returned to the winner's circle on home territory in 2008 and reasserted their dominance at Thailand 2012.