Pioneers of the sport and host nation for the first ever FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2005, few experts could envisage anything other than a Brazilian victory that year. Yet Portugal proved an insurmountable barrier at the semi-final stage, forcing the overwhelming favourites to make do with third place. The arrival of Alexandre Soares as coach, an injection of fresh playing talent and more thorough pre-tournament preparations all ensured the Auriverde set the record straight in 2006, before successfully defending their crown at Rio 2007.
Hosts of the first three editions of the world showpiece, never before had Brazil needed to earn their place out on the pitch. Soares' charges soon proved themselves up to the challenge, comfortably easing to the regional title at April's Sudamericano in Argentina. Capable of both outstanding collective displays and sparkling individual brilliance, the Seleção will surely be the team to beat in Marseille.
"It's the first time we've had to go and earn qualification out on the pitch and it wasn't easy. Even so, we produced our best football when under the most pressure and can now focus on preparing for our first World Cup outside of Brazil," said Canarinha star Buru after the Sudamericano final.
Facts and figures
Jorginho (2005), Nenem (2005), Robertinho (2005), Juninho (2005), Romario (2005).
Benjamin (pivot), Buru (pivot), Bruno (pivot), Sidney (wide player), Junior Negao (defender) and Bruno (wide player).
Brazil were crowned champions at the South American Beach Soccer Championship, held in Argentina in April 2008. The Verdeamarelha won all four of their matches, scoring 28 goals and conceding just 11 in the process. Andre was voted the competition's most valuable player.
The numbers game
2. The number of Brazilian successes at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. The Auriverde overcame the disappointment of third place in 2005 to take the title in 2006 and 2007.