On paper, the current Brazilian squad is the strongest than any other nation in this year's tourney, as they have 2-3 world class players in every position. They're the biggest threats to score at any time, and can make defenses look disorganized and disjointed.
Gabriel Jesus gave Brazil the lead after 36 minutes with a slick finish from a tight angle.
Marcelo's shot ricocheted off the Austrian block to fall kindly for Jesus, who pounced on it like a predator waiting to ambush the prey to curl a venomous effort into the bottom corner. There are familiar faces (Silva and Marcelo), new assets (Casemiro and Fred) and athletes who have emerged across the European soccer scene (Coutinho, Jesus and Firmino).
SOCHI, Russia (AP) - It didn't take long before Neymar and his Brazil teammates started heading to the beach after the team arrived at its World Cup base in Sochi. He stayed on for nearly the entire game, being replaced in the 84th by Douglas Costa.
The world knows that the 26-year-old star striker is a "true Brazilian", capable of producing, like those who over the years have left their mark on the World Cup, moments of sheer magic.
Star Player – Neymar
Neymar was running at full stride against Austria. The first three all showed off what they could do against Austria, and Firmino got in on the action late against Croatia to put the game away.
Against Austria, he had no attempt on goal in the opening hour but went down three times following rough challenges by the home side. Similar fouls were committed by Florian Grillitsch in the 35th and Sebatian Proedl in the 53rd. Germany and Italy are their closest competitor by winning the 4 times. Not only have their been sweeping roster changes since the last World Cup, it's clear the selecao have taken their horrendous defensive performance to heart.
Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho were also on target seven days out from the Seleção's World Cup opener against Switzerland. "Rumours shouldn't matter." Meanwhile, former Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari claimed that midfielder Casemiro is the man makes the Brazilian team click.
"All the games before the World Cup were important to reach this level of performance", Jesus, who now has 10 worldwide goals, added.
In the buildup to the impending World Cup, with Brazil kicking their competition off against Switzerland on Sunday, the Canarinho were in the process of making last minute preparations before their Group E campaign kicked off in Rostov-On-Don.
Before Thursday's kick-off in Russian Federation, the entire football world will focus on choosing the host of the 2026 World Cup, between a joint bid featuring the US, Canada and Mexico and underdogs Morocco.