The reigning World Cup champions Brazil began their West German training programme at the small Black Forest village of Sankt Blasien on Sunday (19 May).
The reigning World Cup champions Brazil began their West German training programme at the small Black Forest village of Sankt Blasien on Sunday (19 May). The 22-man squad arrived at the secluded training camp on Friday, virtually in disgrace after a disappointing farewell match, in which they just managed to defeat a weak Paraguay side, two-nil. However, team officials say the World Cup squad is in perfect physical shape.
Barzil is the only nation to win the cup three times - in 1958, 1962 and 1970. They also have the distinction of being the only country to win the title outside their own continent.
However, all the signs this year are that the kings could be dethroned by the traditional bastions of European soccer. Hosts West Germany, and Italy loom as the major challengers, but Holland, East Germany and Yugoslavia are also rated highly among the European contenders.
Sportswriters say Brazil has fallen down the international soccer ladder with the loss of stars Pele, Tosteo and Gerson. Tostao and Gerson have retired because of injury. Pele still plays for his club, Santos, but doggedly refuses to return to World Cup competition.