Tough road for Brazil

Actress Charlize Theron and soccer player David Beckham react during the World Cup draw in Cape...

Actress Charlize Theron and soccer player David Beckham react during the World Cup draw in Cape Town on Friday. (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 4:38 PM ET

Brazil has won five World Cups.

If they get anywhere near a sixth, they will have earned it.

Brazil has been fortunate in past World Cups. They’ve managed to avoid the infamous Group of Death. Their worst experience may have been 1982 in Spain when a different format for the World Cup placed them in an elimination group with Italy and Argentina.

They didn’t emerge.

It would be surprising, but not shocking, if the same fate awaited them in 2010 in South Africa. No debate about this, Brazil is in the Group of Death.

After the World Cup draw held in South Africa yesterday, Brazil heads Group D. They’ve been matched with Portugal, North Korea and the Ivory Coast.

Portugal features Cristiano Ronaldo. The Ivory Coast will be dangerous with Didier Drogba. The North Koreans have nothing to lose and are a difficult defensive team.

The Ivory Coast may as well be playing on home turf and, with so many players playing in the best professional leagues in the world, it no longer can be discounted.

Portugal has a great deal to prove.

The Portugese barely qualified for the World Cup and often fall short in major tournaments. They have taken over from Spain as the team with much potential but not many accomplishments. But there is no doubting the quality of their players and the Portuguese and Brazilians do not have a particularly amenable relationship.

What does Brazil have to look forward to if it manages to move along?

The Brazilians will earn a match likely against either Spain or Chile, then the Netherlands and England if both teams make it that far.

While Brazil can’t be happy with the draw, there are no parades being planned for either the Ivory Coast or Portugal.

Brazil is still one of the most feared teams on the planet and both of those underdog teams had hoped to avoid them.

The Ivory Coast has been tagged as a team that could surprise in this World Cup. It still might be successful if it can survive Portugal and Brazil. Or it may well go out in the first round.

It wouldn’t be called the Group of Death otherwise.


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