Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Brazil is the best footballing nation in the world. They won 5 World Cup titles in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. In addition, they have great teams at the World Cup in 1950, 1982 and 1998. They never failed to appear in a WC Finals.
Brazil first became prominence when they hosted the WC Finals in 1950. The Brazilian team of Zizinho, Jair and Ademir was probably the best in the world, but they were defeated by Uruguay in a match now known as "the Maracanazo". Eight years later, the 17 year old Pele helped Brazil to win their WC. In 1962, Garrincha would lead them to win its second WC by his individual brilliance. And then, in 1970, Pele led a team consisted of Rivelino, Gerson, Carlos Alberto, Tostao, Jairzinho, etc that won the WC and widely considered the greatest ever national team. After 1970, the team failed to win another cup for 24 years. In between, the 1982 team was considered to be one of the best ever team not to win the WC. Brazil won the WC again in 1994 and 2002.
If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.
Gilmar was the goalkeeper for WC 1958, 1962 and 1966 winning two titles. He had 104 caps. Also a member of Pele's Santos team of the 1960's. With Gilmar between the posts, Santos conquered almost every championship they competed in: they won five São Paulo State Championships (1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968), five National Championships (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965), two Libertadores Cups (1962 and 1963) and two Intercontinental Cups (1962 against Eusébio's Benfica and 1963 against Milan).
GK: Claudio Taffarel
Taffarel earned over 100 caps. He was the starting goalkeeper for the WC 1994 winning team. During an 18-year career, he played professionally for six clubs, including Parma, Internacional, Atlético Mineiro and Galatasaray. He won an UEFA Cup with Galatasaray.
GK: Julio Ceasar
Julio Ceasar was awarded the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year title in both 2009 and 2010. He won the Champions' League with Inter Milan in 2010. He won 87 international caps for the Seleção between 2004 and 2014. He was selected for the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, in addition to two Copa América tournaments.
RB: Djalma Santos
Some considered DJ Santos as the best right back in the football history. He is one of only three players to be included into three FIFA World Cup All Star team. He starred at WC Finals in 1954, 1958 and 1962. He also went to the WC in 1966. Santos started his career with Portuguesa. In 1959, he moved to Palmeiras. He played almost 500 games for the club, winning several league and cup titles. He left the club in 1968, joining Atlético Paranaense for a short spell before retiring in 1970.
RB: Carlos Alberto
Carlos Alberto was one of the greatest fullback ever played the game. He was the captain of the 1970 team in Mexico. His goal in the Final was considered one of the greatest goals in the history of the tournament. He missed the WC in 1974 through an injury. He played with Pele both at Santos and NY Cosmos. He had 53 caps for Brazil.
SW/CB: Domingos da Guia
The star defender of the 1940's who was among the first skilled defender to play the game. He played for several clubs, but notably with Flamengo and Corinthians, and aboard with Boca Juniors. He had 30 caps. He was a star at the 1938 WC Finals in France.
The star of the 2002 WC Team. He earned 105 caps for Brazil. He reached the Champions' League final with Bayer Leverkusen in 2002. In 2004, he moved to Bayern Munich, where he won one German Cup and three Bundesliga titles. He also helped Inter Milan win the 2010 Champions League against his former club Bayern Munich.
Luis Pereira was widely considered to be the best central back in the Seleção's history. He was capped over 30 times and played in World Cup in 1974. He played 562 games with S.E. Palmeiras (34 goals) and 171 games with Atlético Madrid (17 goals).
CB: Thiago Silva
Thiago Silva became the most expensive defender in history when he moved from Milan to Paris St. Germain. Before moving to play in Europe, he played for Juventude and Fluminense in Brazil. He was a key player as Fluminense to the Final of VCopa Libertadores in 2008. For the national team, he was the captain of Brazil ill-fated team in World Cup 2014, but did not play against Germany in the semifinal. He was an unused sub at the WC Finals in 2010.
LB: Roberto Carlos
He was regarded one of the best leftbacks in history. He had 125 caps for Brazil playing in three WC Finals. He won 3 Champions League titles with Real Madrid and one WC title with Brazil in 2002. In 1997 he was runner-up in the FIFA World Player of the Year. He is especially famous for a free kick from 35m out against France in the Tournoi de France 1997. The goal is considered one of the greatest goals ever scored.
LB: Nilton Santos
Nilton Santos went to the WC in 1950, but did not play a single game. He won the WC in 1958 and 1962. He is widely considered to be a pioneer in offensive wingback. He spent his entire career with Botafogo during one of the club's greatest period.
DM: Danilo Alvim
Danilo Alvim is considered one of he greatest defensive midfielder in Brazil's history. He played on the ill-fated 1950 team. For his club career, he was a part of Vasco da Gama's legendary "the Victory Express" team. He also played for America.
He is considered one of the greatest footballers and perhaps the greatest dribbler in history. He inspired Brazil to win the WC in 1962, which widely considered the best individual effect in WC history. He was the Player of the Tournament that year. He also played in 1958 and 1966. He was a member of the great Botafogo's team in the 1960's.
He was the captain of 1982 and 1986 team. One of the best attack midfielders in Brazil's history. In 1983, he was named South American Footballer of the Year. He spent 7 seasons with Corinthians. He went abroad in 1984, playing a season in Serie A with Fiorentina. He was also a MD, earning the degree while he was an active player.
He is considered one of the greatest players ever from Brazil. He was voted the best player in WC 1958. He was also on the 1954 and 1962 team. He joined Real Madrid in the 1950's, but returned after less than a year because of a personal feud with Alfredo di Stefano. He also played with Garrincha at Botafogo, a team considered among the best ever club side in Brazil.
He was the central midfielder for Brazil in the 1970 World Cup Finals. He is considered one of Brazil's best ever passers. He played on the legendary Botafogo's team of in the 1960's with Garrincha. While at the club, he played with Didi and became his understudy, in which he would inherit the position on the Seleção.
He is considered to be one of the greatest left-sided midfielder ever. His signature move was the "flip-flap". He was a member of Brazil's great 1970 team and also played in the 1974 team. He had 92 caps for Brazil. He was known for his master of the "flip flap" move. He started his career with Corinthians, but in one of the club's worst period in history. He moved to Fluminense in 1974, forming a great team with Carlos Alberto. He also played for Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia.
Pele's idol. The greatest Brazilian player before the 1960's. The star of the WC in 1950. He played for Flamengo, Bangu, São Paulo FC, Audax Italiano of Chile among others teams. With, Flamengo, he won state championships in 1942, 1943 and 1944.
He was the best player in the world during the early 1980's. He came eighth in the FIFA Player of the Century grand jury vote. He went to three WC Finals, but probably best remembered for the 1982 tournament. He won the Intercontinental Cup in 1981 with Flamengo, a team that was considered among the greatest ever. He later played with Udinese for 2 seasons.
Pele is considered the greatest player ever in the history of the game. he won his World Cup in 1958 as a 17 years old. He would win his second one in 1962, but he was injured throughout the tournament. In 1970, he won his third and final World Cup, with a team that was considered the greatest ever. He played almost his entire career with Santos. He unretired to join New York Cosmos in 1976.
Romario helped the Seleção to win the 1994 FIFA World Cup, receiving the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year the same year. He missed the 1998 WC Finals because of an injury. One of very few strikers to surpass the mark of 1,000 goals. He was best remembered for his stint with Barcelona.
Ronaldo led Brazil to two WC Finals match, winning the one in 2002. He scored 8 goals in 2002. He was the winner of Ballon d'Or twice and the FIFA World Player of the Year three times. He is the second top-scorer in WC history. He played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, and for both AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Junior, Leando Cafu, Mauro Ramos, Clodoaldo, Zito, Dunga, Leônidas da Silva, Jair, Ademir Marques de Menezes, Julinho, Arthur Friedenreich, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Bellini, Aldair, Jairzinho, Toninho Cerezo, Kaka, Emerson Leao, Moacyr Barbosa, Dida.
-- Lucio, Julio Cesar and Thiago Silva were the controversial selections.
--- Emerson Leao was the other keeper I considered. He was never rated as the best in the world during his prime. Julio Cesar, however, was widely considered among in the best in his prime. I know some Brazilians cannot forgive him for the game against Germany in 2014.
-- The same applied to Thiago Silva.
-- I already had Gerson, Didi and Falcao on my team. So I took Danilo Alvim who is better defensively than Toninho Cerezo.
I used a classic Brazil's 4-2-2-2 formation. The front four and Didi were no surprise at all. I started Danilo Alvim because the team needed his defensive skill to balance the team. We went with three old-timers in defense and Gilmar to start in defense.