Zagallo: World Cup 2014 is Brazil's big chance

The legendary former Selecao player and coach believes that Luiz Felipe Scolari's men can overcome the pressure of hosting of the tournament and finally lift the trophy
Brazil legend Mario Zagallo feels that World Cup 2014 is the Selecao's chance to finally banish the demons of 1950's defeat in the final to Uruguay and win the tournament on home soil.

The draw for the group stage will take place in Costa do Sauipe on Friday and, speaking at Thursday's dress rehearsal, the 82-year-old stated his confidence that Luiz Felipe Scolari's men can overcome the pressure on them and lead the nation to glory.

"I think Brazil will live up to the challenge and cope well with the task," said Zagallo, who won the World Cup twice as a player, in 1958 and 1962, before becoming the first man in history win the competition as both player and coach when he led the 1970 side to glory in Mexico.

"Brazil is the only national team to have won five world titles without winning at home [but] I think that this is our big moment. Our team is growing but is not quite ready yet. Scolari is doing a great job and I hope that Brazil can forget 1950 and be the champions."

In Thursday's practice run, the Selecao were joined in Group A by France, Australia and Italy and World Cup 1994-winning striker Bebeto is hoping for an easier draw on Friday.

"I hope Brazil could get an easy group but, regardless of the national teams that we have to face, we have to beat them all," he observed.

Tournament ambassador Ronaldo, a two-time winner and the competition's all-time leading goalscorer with 15, echoed his compatriots' sentiments and remarked that travelling fans will experience a unique atmosphere next summer.

"Everyone wants to come to the World Cup," he enthused. "[Those who do] will witness the passion Brazilians have for football."