Luiz Felipe Scolari's Selecao are considered strong favourites to take a sixth world crown after winning the tournament's precursor event, the Confederations Cup, on home soil last year.
And Zico, who was part of the legendary 1982 team but was never able to lift the World Cup, feels Brazil can regain the trophy they last won in 2002.
"If we don't have injuries to our key players, I think Brazil are one of the favourites," Zico told Globo.
"Our major rivals in my view will be Argentina, because they have Lionel Messi, and Uruguay, because they have three of the best forwards in the world [in Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan]. So I think the World Cup will stay here in South America."
Brazil hammered reigning world champions Spain 3-0 to win the Confederations Cup, a victory that Zico feels has been key to re-establishing a connection with the fans.
"They did an important thing - they got the Brazilian people back the Confederations Cup," he added. "They created a style of play that brought the supporters back.
"I saw some games live at the Confederations Cup and felt a rapport between the supporters and the national team that had been lost. So I think they are on the right track."
Brazil have been drawn alongside Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon in Group A of this summer's World Cup.