Spain coach Vicente del Bosque believes Brazil could crack under the pressure as this year's FIFA World Cup™ hosts bid to exorcise the ghosts of their 1950 nightmare.
Brazil scored an emphatic victory over Del Bosque's reigning world champions in the final of last year's FIFA Confederations Cup, boosting the hosts' hopes of a repeat triumph at the World Cup.
However, speaking on the sidelines of a two-day seminar for World Cup coaches on Wednesday in Brazil, Del Bosque said the home side's famously passionate support could prove to be a burden.
"Brazil will have the fans behind them but this could come back to bite them as it heaps the pressure on," warned del Bosque, who insisted his side's Confederations Cup loss to A Seleção is "water under the bridge."
The possibility of Brazilian failure on home soil continues to loom large for the hosts, 64 years after their famous defeat to Uruguay at the climax of the 1950 tournament.
The 2-1 loss before nearly 200,000 fans at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium is regarded as something close to a national tragedy, a traumatic and humiliating defeat that remains one of the World Cup's greatest upsets.
Croatia coach Niko Kovac, whose side will open the tournament against the hosts in Sao Paolo on 12 June, also warned that Brazil might be overwhelmed by the pressure.
It is a pressure for the host, which could be our advantage.
"Brazil will have a big support, not only at the stadium but also from 200 million people in front of their televisions. But at the same time it is a pressure for the host, which could be our advantage," he said.
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari insisted however that the country had learnt from the past and would be able to cope with the weight of expectation.
"Before 1950, Brazil had never been to the final," Scolari told reporters. "They acted as pioneers for our five titles won since."
Scolari, who masterminded Brazil's last World Cup triumph, at the 2002 finals in Japan and South Korea, had no qualms about setting the bar high for his current side.
Critics say his side is far from the vintage Brazilian teams of old. "We have to think big and aim to win it," he said. "Otherwise what am I doing here as coach?"