Brazil

The past
Ever since the early days of the FIFA Futsal World Cup, Brazil have been a force to be reckoned with on the international scene. The Auriverde claimed the trophy at the first three editions of the showpiece event, at Netherlands 1989, Hong Kong 1992 and Spain 1996, but have since been outstripped by their futsal bête noire, Spain. La Furia Roja proved too strong for Brazil in the Final of Guatemala 2000 and at the semi-final stage of Chinese Taipei 2004, where they went on to take the title once more.

The present
Since Brazil were awarded host nation status for the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2008, retaking their place at the summit of the world game has become a matter of national pride. Coach Paulo Cesar de Oliveira has been charged with finding the right mix of players from Brazil's stellar domestic league - such as Falcao, player of the tournament at Chinese Taipei - and those working wonders in Spanish and Italian futsal. Having qualified automatically for Brazil 2008, the Auriverde's star-studded squad must now prove they have the will to win to match their undoubted talent.

The future
Missing out on the futsal world title for the second tournament in succession in 2004 was a crushing blow to all those involved with the Brazilian national team. The task now facing the coaching staff is to imbue the Canarinha squad with the belief that they can indeed knock Spain off their perch. "We need to rebuild our players' confidence. The FIFA Futsal World Cup is the culmination of a long-term project, during which we hope that every player called up to the Seleção realises the level of effort and tactical awareness needed, over and above individual talent, to achieve success," underlined head coach "PC" de Oliveira.

Facts and figures

Former stars
Marquinhos (1989), Jorginho (1992), Manoel Tobias (1992- 2000), Vander (1992-2000), Choco (1996 and 2000).

Key players
Falcao (wide player), Lenisio (pivot), Schumacher (defender), Franklin (goalkeeper) and Vinicius (wide player).

The numbers game
12 - The number of years since Brazil's last world futsal success.