World Cup Rivalries: Brazil

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup less than seven months away and the draw to take place in seven days time, we analyse some of the Socceroos fiercest rivals.

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup less than seven months away and the draw for Brazil set to take place in 8 days time, we analyse some of the Socceroos potential opponents and fiercest rivals.

The Socceroos have played Brazil eight times in our football history, recording 6 losses, 1 draw and a famous victory at the Confederations Cup back in 2001. While the record is somewhat lopsided, Australia has never shirked from the challenge of testing themselves against one of the world-s best.

Our recent 6-0 result against the Seleção left a bad taste in many Socceroos fans mouths but may yet prove to be the tonic we needed to spur us to success at next year-s tournament.

Undoubtedly our best performance against the Samba Kings came on June 9, 2001 at the Confederations Cup in South Korea. Shaun Murphy was the hero for the Socceroos, heading in a late winner from a Stan Lazaridis free-kick to give Australia an improbable 1-0 win and third place at the eight-team tournament.

The Aussies had frustrated Brazil-s attack for the duration of the contest and the match looked headed for extra-time, when Murphy beat the off-side trap from a set-piece to head a cross through goalkeeper Dida-s hands from close range.

Needless to say this sparked national celebrations that only escalated once the Socceroos were able to hang on until full-time.

As hosts of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil was the only nation with a guaranteed place at the tournament. While the Seleção have not been preoccupied with qualifiers they have hardly been quiet on the international stage and have been in irresistible form of late that sees them as favourite to lift the trophy for a record sixth time.

Brazil will be making their 20th appearance at the tournament, which is also a record. They were last crowned champions in 2002, having also won in 1958, 1962, 1970 and 1994.

Brazil has won 12 of their last 13 international fixtures, netting a whopping 35 goals in the process. This included an amazing 3-0 win over world champions Spain in the final of the most recent edition of the Confederations Cup.

Their only blemish came away to Switzerland where they were handed a 1-0 defeat. This form has seen them move to ten in the world rankings overnight, although as World Cup hosts they will more than likely go into a pot with the seven top seeds when the final draw gets underway in a week-s time.

While they will no doubt be formidable opposition, the prospect of facing Brazil in Brazil at a World Cup is one that would have football fans the world over salivating. The Socceroos would surely love nothing more than to atone for their most recent outing against the Samba Kings on the international stage but only time will tell if they-ll be given that opportunity.