Former World Cup winner calls Brazil favouritesCan Brazil live up to their 'favourites' tag?
Former World Cup winner Marco Materazzi has hailed Brazil as favourites for this year's tournament due to the fact that they are not only hosts, but hosts in form after winning last year's Confederations Cup at a canter.
Italian Materazzi, who lifted the trophy himself in 2006 in Germany, told forzaitalianfootball.com: "Despite the enormous pressure to play well and win, Brazil are still the favourites."
"The Selecao must win, also because they havent won since 2002. They're always contenders for the title."
"Brazil is the country of football, for the Brazilian motto is 'born to play football'."
Italy, perennial contenders in the sport's biggest event, will still have a chance this time out added Materazzi: "Historically, Italy suffers more in the first stage of the World Cup, but grows througout the competition."