Ultimate Brazil dream team - Pele & Ronaldo in, Ronaldinho out

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Ultimate Brazil Dream Team
Some absolute legends have played for Brazil, but only the best of the best can make our all-time XI!

Brazil are not just one of the most beloved teams around for their Joga Bonito philosophy, but they are also the most successful country in World Cup history, winning the tournament five times - in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002.

The Selecao are the only national team to have played in all World Cup editions without absence - and the only ones to have won the tournament on four different continents.

And they achieved all that success while playing some amazing football with some incredible individual talent.

Pele remains up there in the GOAT conversation with the likes of Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldinho and Ronaldo in their prime are not too far off that debate either and then there are numerous other high-profile names to have shone for Brazil.

Who make it into the ultimate Brazil dream team, though?

Let's take a look!

  1. GK: Claudio Taffarel
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    GK: Claudio Taffarel

    A bonafide Brazil legend, Taffarel played more than 100 games for Brazil and helped them win the 1994 World Cup.

    Between 1988 and 1998, the legendary goalkeeper appeared in nine major international tournaments for Brazil.

    On top of the 1994 World Cup success, he also won two Copa America titles along with a silver medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics.

  2. RB: Cafu
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    RB: Cafu

    The most capped player at international level for Brazil, Cafu is regarded as one of the most iconic right-backs of all time.

    Known for his dynamism, leadership and offensive mindset, he represented Brazil at four World Cups between 1994 and 2006 and is the only player in history to have appeared in three consecutive World Cup finals, winning the 1994 and 2002 editions.

    In 2002, he lifted the World Cup as captain, etching his name in Brazilian folklore.

  3. CB: Hilderaldo Bellini

    CB: Hilderaldo Bellini

    Two-time consecutive World Cup winner in 1958 and 1962, Hilderaldo Bellini was actually the first Brazilian captain to ever lift the coveted trophy in 1958.

    He played a total of 51 games for the Selecao between 1957 to 1966.

    Fun fact about Bellini is that he is often credited with starting the tradition of lifting the trophy in the air after winning a piece of silverware.

    He initially did this so that photographers had a better view of the trophy and as the photos got famous, the gesture of lifting a trophy became somewhat of a tradition.

  4. CB: Mauro Ramos

    CB: Mauro Ramos

    Mauro Ramos de Oliveira was one of the greatest centre-backs in Brazilian history, especially when it came to aerial ability and ball tackling.

    The defender played just 28 games for Brazil between 1948 and 1965, remaining on the bench for the 1954 and 1958 World Cups, before captaining the national team at the 1962 World Cup, which Brazil won!

    Ramos also won a Copa America with Brazil, in 1949.

    Not many come close to Ramos, but Lucio does deserve a mention here. One of the most aggressive centre-backs of all time, he made over a 100 appearances for Brazil between 2000 and 2011 and won the 2002 World Cup, 2005 Confederations Cup and 2009 Confederation Cup with his country.

  5. LB: Roberto Carlos
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    LB: Roberto Carlos

    The most iconic left-back in football history, Roberto Carlos actually started his career as a forward, but eventually became arguably the most attack-minded left-back ever.

    The man with a golden left foot came up with some of the greatest logic-defying goals in the history of the game.

    Carlos made 125 appearances for Brazil between 1992 and 2006, playing in three World Cups, reaching the final of the 1998 tournament and winning the 2002 edition.

  6. CM: Dunga
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    CM: Dunga

    Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri, aka Dunga, captained Brazil to 1994 World Cup glory and also scored the team's third penalty in the shoot-out victory against Italy.

    He then captained Brazil at the 1998 World Cup, where he got into a fight with team-mate Bebeto during a first-round match against Morocco. Despite those tensions, Brazil went on to reach the final, losing 3-0 to hosts France.

    Alongside Spanish legend Xavi, Dunga is one of only two players to have played in a World Cup final, an Olympic final, a Confederations Cup final and a continental championship final.

    He made 91 appearances for Brazil between 1987 to 1998 before going on to coach the national team between 2006 and 2010.

  7. RM: Garrincha

    RM: Garrincha

    Dubbed as one of the greatest players and dribblers of all time, Manuel Francisco dos Santos, more commonly known as Garrincha, was key to Brazil winning the 1958 and 1962 World Cups.

    In 1962 especially, when Pele got injured, it was Garrincha who led Brazil to World Cup glory, dominating each opponent right up until the final.

    He became the first player to win the Golden Ball, Golden Boot and the World Cup in the same tournament.

    An astonishing fact about his international career is that whenever Garrincha and Pele played for Brazil, they never lost a single game.
    He featured in 50 games for Brazil, scoring 12 goals, majorly from the right side of midfield between 1955 and 1966.

  8. LM: Rivaldo

    LM: Rivaldo

    Football fans will fondly remember Rivaldo as one of the most skilful players of his generation.

    Talk about bending difficult free-kicks, scoring bicycle kicks, striking from distance, or even creating goals for his team-mates, Rivaldo did it all with utmost ease.

    The 1999 Ballon d'Or winner played 74 games and scored 35 goals for Brazil.

    He helped Brazil reach the final of the 1998 World Cup before going on to form a devastating attacking partnership alongside icons Ronaldo and Ronaldinho to win the 2002 World Cup, scoring in five of Brazil's seven games at the tournament.

    The former Barcelona star just about beats Ronaldinho to a spot in our XI.

  9. FW: Pele

    FW: Pele

    The greatest Brazilian player of all time, Pele is among the most popular and successful sports figures in the the history of the game.

    The iconic attacker made his debut for the senior national team at the age of just 16.

    He won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970 to become the only Brazilian player to achieve a feat of winning three World Cups.

    Brazil's all-time top goal scorer at international level, Pele scored 77 goals in just 92 games.

    Predominantly a forward, Pele was a complete footballer as he was great in dribbling, playmaking, providing assists and passing vision.

  10. FW: Ronaldo

    FW: Ronaldo

    Like Pele, Ronaldo too had a very young beginning in the Brazil team when he was selected for Brazil's squad for the 1994 World Cup at the age of 17.

    But it was the 1998 and 2002 World Cups that etched Ronaldo's name in football history in golden letters, especially in 2002 when he formed an incredible partnership with Ronaldinho and Rivaldo, leading Brazil to World Cup glory as he scored twice in the final and won the Golden Boot.

    His - then - record 15th World Cup goal came in 2006 at the age of just 30.

    Ronaldo will be a case of "What if?" when it comes to the incredible things he could have done in his career if not for injury and fitness issues.

    It was a difficult choice to make between Ronaldo and Zico as the forward is a true legend of the game, who featured in three World Cups in 1978, 1982 and 1986, but didn't manage to win any of them, despite Brazil's 1982 World Cup squad being considered as one of the greatest national teams ever.

  11. FW: Romario

    FW: Romario

    Who else deserves the final attacking spot in Brazil's all time XI if not Romario?

    A prolific striker known for his incredible finishing skills, Romario has scored over 750 goals in his career, with 55 coming for Brazil between 1987 and 2005.

    He starred for Brazil in their 1994 World Cup winning team and was awarded the Golden Ball.

    Romario partnered Bebeto at that World Cup and scored five goals.

    He is the last player to have won the Golden Ball and the World Cup in the same tournament.

    Despite their personal differences, Romario participated in Bebeto's iconic "baby-rocking" goal celebration against Netherlands after Bebeto's wife had given birth to their third child just days before that match.