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There can be no disputing the fact that Brazil are the most successful team in World Cup history. The facts are plain to see: Brazil have won the competition an unprecedented five times, scoring more goals and winning more games along the way that any other country, and have never failed to qualify for finals.
Their first victory was achieved in 1958 in Sweden (whom they beat 5-2 in the final), where they were inspired to glory by a teenaged Pelé. This was followed up four years later by winning the 1962 edition in Chile, beating Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the final. With Pelé suffering an early injury in the tournament, Garrincha proved to be the teams main source of inspiration.
An eight year gap followed, with Seleçãos next success coming in Mexico, where they defeated Italy 4-1 in the final. This team, featuring the likes of Pelé, Carlos Alberto, Clodoaldo, Gérson, Jairzinho, Rivelino, and Tostão, is considered by many to be the greatest football side ever.
There was however a lengthy wait before Brazil got to lift the trophy again, their next success coming 24 years later, at USA 1994. With Romario, Bebeto and Dunga key components of the side, Brazil clinched their fourth title by beating Italy on penalties after the final had ended 0-0.
In 1998 Seleção lost the final to hosts France, but, with Ronaldo, Rivaldo, and Ronaldinho at the forefront, they won a record fifth World Cup in 2002, beating Germany 2-0. Germany 2006 was disappointing as Brazil lost to France at the quarter-final stage.
However, following that setback, Seleção have won the Copa America in 2007 and the 2009 Confederations Cup and are very much amongst the favourites for South Africa 2009.
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