Brazil - Top three target

August 17, 2007
By ESPNsoccernet

With a footballing heritage as rich as Brazil it should come as little surprise that the women's team plays a skilful, entertaining brand of football that leaves fans at home and abroad mesmerised an jealous in equal measure.

Cristiane
WireImage / MPSCristiane combines with Marta to provide Brazil with a lethal front line.

Their fluency on the pitch has been reflected in their results as Brazil are the only side from South America to have qualified for every FIFA Women's World Cup so far.

Nevertheless, it wasn't until 1999's tournament in the USA that they left their mark. Having failed to negotiate passage from the group stages at either the 1991 or 1995 tournament after failing to negotiate safe passage from the group stages Brazil upset the form book to end up finishing in third place.

However, Brazil failed to build on their success and were eliminated at the group stage at the 2003 event.

At China 2007 head coach Jorge Barcelos will hope that players like Marta and Katia live up to the hype and prove their 'telepathy' in the final third of the pitch.

Qualification proved to be short work for the Brazilian side as they breezed through the first stages with wins over Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela to top Group B with maximum points.

Their winning role continued into the next stage with victories over Paraguay and Uruguay booking their place in China with a game to spare.

The only team stopping them from claiming the South American Championship was the hosts Argentina who ended Brazil's victory run with a 2-0 win in the final putting them through to China as the top team from South America with Brazil coming second for the first time.

Brazil will be hoping to claim a top three placing with a youthful side that are eager to get a taste of World Cup action.