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 Fred wins a dubious penalty against Dejan Lovren. Photograph:  Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Brazil 3 Croatia 1: So far, so Brazil. On a fretful, at times sleepy, ultimately rousing night in Sao Paulo Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team came from behin(...)

Brazil Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari addresses a press conference ahead of tonight’s opening game in the 2014 Fifa World Cup against Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo. Photograph: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

“For all Brazilians. I want to say our time has arrived. We want to go together. This is our World Cup. ” Luis Felipe Scolari spoke with the sa(...)

You don’t have to go very far to find a five-a-side pitch among the many favelas in Rio de Janeiro, like this one at the Tavares Bastos slums. Photograph: Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Ten years after it launched its candidacy Brazil’s moment of truth has finally arrived with the kick-off tonight of one of the most controversial Worl(...)

Brazil’s Neymar practising his free-kick technique at the Arena de Sao Paulo ahead of the hosts’ World Cup opener against Croatia. Photo: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

It may be hard to imagine Brazil kicking off this World Cup against Croatia without a certain amount of swagger.But don’t be entirely surprised if thi(...)

Sunday soccer is a decades-old tradition where  Brazilians of all walks of life play matches that are known as “peladas” or “naked” on the beaches, in the slums, and on the streets. Photograph:  Reuters/Washington Alves

The hordes of schoolchildren that crowd into São Paulo’s wildly popular Football Museum make for an often noisy cultural experience. But even they set(...)

The hot favourites Brazil (as reported in the following day’s Irish Times), who were beaten 2-1 by Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro, left-right: Barbosa, Augusto, Danilo, Juvenal, Bauer, Ademir, Zizinho, Jair, Chico, Friaca, Bigode. (Photograph: Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

It was Zico, of all people, who turned to the elephant in the room and not only acknowledged it, but spread before it a sumptuous array of grass, leav(...)

Neymar of Brazil and Felipe Baloy of Panama compete for the ball  at the Serra Dourada Stadium. Photograph:    Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Brazil beat Panama 4-0 in their penultimate friendly before hosting the World Cup, with Neymar, Dani Alves, Hulk and Willian scoring the goals in a le(...)

Brazil’s  Neymar  during a training session in Teresopolis, near Rio de Janeiro last month.  Photograph: Ricardo Moraes / Reuters

Manager: Luis Felipe Scolari Best finish: Winners (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002) World Cup record: Played 104, Won 71, Drawn 16, Lost 17(...)

Flames of protest: demonstrators in São Paulo burn the Brazilian flag. Photograph: Victor Moriyama/Getty

A World Cup in Brazil must have sounded like the perfect fit. Hosting the planet’s greatest party in the land of carnival while bringing football back(...)

A member of Brazil’s Homeless Workers’ Movement  protests in front of Sao Paulo’s World Cup stadium on May 15th, 2014.  Photograph: Nacho Doce / Reuters

Millions of Brazilians will be cheering like crazy during the World Cup, but not all of them for Brazil. With kick-off two weeks away and tensions si(...)

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