World Cup 2010 Predictions: Solid Defense Will Carry Brazil To Sixth Trophy

Craig FarrellCorrespondent IJune 8, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28:  Julio Cesar of Brazil celebrates after team mate Lucio  scored the winning goal during the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

There is only one country in the world that enters every major competition as one of the heavy favorites regardless of the circumstances.

And their is only one country in the world that has the honor of wearing five gold stars over their crest.

Of course the country in question is the might Brazil.

Brazil has been perpetually blessed with sublime attacking talent through the years and with the bunch of quality young stars waiting for their national team call-up, the trend seems set to continue long into the future.

However, the strength at the back of the Brazilian set-up this summer is what will drive the green and yellow to picking up another World Cup win and yet another gold star on their jersey.

Brazilian manager Dunga is spoiled for choice when it comes to naming the four men who will protect his goalkeeper.

The heart of the defense will be centered around Champions League winning center-half Lucio.

Lucio, at 6'2", is a big Brazilian brick wall. With 91 caps, the Inter Milan center-back will be hoping that by the end of the tournament he can be just two games away from a century of international appearances, and of course, lifting yet another prestigious trophy.

The big Brazilian center-half will be at ease in the heart of the defense due to his experience as well as the fact he is flanked by his Inter Milan teammate.

Maicon will be the starting right-back for Dunga's team. Maicon has forced his way up the ranks in world football and is know considered to be the best right-back in the game at present.

After recently doing the treble with Inter Milan, he will be hoping for further glory with Brazil.

Maicon love venturing forward to help his team attack, but he is also determined in tracking back and performing his defense duties.

Beside Lucio will most likely be Roma's Juan, who at 6'0" is also a robust center-half.

Juan and Lucio are very use to playing alongside one and other which can only benefit the center-back pair.

The back four is completed with Michel Bastos on the left side.

Bastos is a relatively new face in the Brazilian set-up. He has only five previous caps but with his time at Lyon he is more than use to playing in big footballing tournaments.

The Brazilian back four is further solidified by the safe pair of hands behind them.

Julio Cesar is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and is more than comfortable playing behind the right side of his defense who he would see in front of him week in and week out at Inter Milan.

With such a strong back line not to mention the quality players that Brazil have as their supporting cast.

Barcelona's Dani Alves, Benfica's Luisao, and AC Milan's Thiago Silva are all more than capable of filling in any voids that may occur along with Roma's Doni and Tottenham's Heurelho Gomes who can also lend a helping hand if Cesar is unavailable.

Despite conceding just two goals in the 2006 World Cup, Brazil fell out at the quarterfinal stages.

Questions have been asked about the fire-power at Brazil's disposal this year but one thing is for sure Brazil will be a tough nut to crack in front of their own goal.

When you measure Brazil's back four and goalkeeper to other 31 teams in the competition, there is no doubt who boasts the better defense, not to mention the strength in depth at Brazil's fingertips.

Brazil will look for their third World Cup victory in five tournaments and their defense has arguably never been stronger, which is a major concern for the likes of Spain, England, and Group G.

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