The most-capped player in Selecao history believes home advantage makes Felipao's side favourites for this year's World CupFormer Selecao star Cafu has labelled Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Brazil as favourites for this year’s World Cup.
The two-time world champion, and most-capped player in the history of the Brazilian football with 142 appearances for his country, believes home advantage will be key at this year's competition and that the roar of the home crowd can inspire Brazil to their sixth world title.
“I think the atmosphere will be the same as it was during the [Confederations Cup] final. An atmosphere in which Brazil became champions, winners,” Cafu told fifa.com.
“Of course, the World Cup is a different, more difficult competition, but Brazil are the team to beat.”
The legendary former Sao Paulo, Palmeiras, Roma and Milan star, one of the few to have claimed both the Uefa Champions League and the Copa Libertadores, believes lifting the Confederations Cup last year was a turning point for the current squad, who came into the tournament on a mixed run of form.
“I know what players are capable of and I know what Brazil can do. Especially playing at home with the fans behind them,” he continued.
“Everything went right [in Brazil’s Confederations Cup opener] against Japan. Neymar scored with his left foot at a perfect time and the team clicked. In the final, Fred scored even after falling over.
“But that kind of thing only happens if you believe in yourself. Brazil had belief and that’s what happened. So it wasn’t a surprise to me. Brazil have to be respected, especially at home.”
The Selecao continue their preparations for this summer's tournament on March 5 when they take on South Afica in Johannesburg on the next leg of the Gillette Brasil Global Tour.