Saturday 02 April 2022, 03:00

Brazil face up to familiar foes

  • Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland also drawn together at Russia 2018

  • A Seleção locked horns with Cameroon at Brazil 2014

  • Brazil’s two previous World Cup meetings with the Swiss both ended in draws

As far as Brazil were concerned, Friday’s Final Draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ had a very familiar feeling to it.

Joining Tite’s charges in Group G are Serbia and Switzerland, two teams they faced at the same stage at Russia 2018, and Cameroon, group-phase opponents of Brazil’s when they hosted the tournament in 2014.

Paulinho goal Brazil x Serbia 2018

The encounter with Serbia will be the sixth between the countries at the World Cup, the Serbians having inherited former Yugoslavia’s record in FIFA competitions. Only Sweden, with seven meetings, have played Brazil more times at the world finals.

The last time the two teams faced off, at Russia 2018, goals from Paulinho and Thiago Silva gave A Seleção a 2-0 win over the Balkan side.

The South Americans have the edge in the head-to-head. Beaten 2-1 by Yugoslavia in the first world finals match between the two at Uruguay 1930, the Brazilians won 2-0 on home soil in 1950, with the two sides then playing out 1-1 and 0-0 draws at Switzerland 1954 and Germany 1974 respectively.

This will be the third time that Brazil have met Switzerland in World Cups. The European side provided stern opposition for the South Americans in Russia four years ago, holding them to a 1-1 draw. The two sides also shared the points in their first meeting, at Brazil 1950, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

“I watched Switzerland play Italy after one of our qualifiers,” Tite told Brazilian newspaper O Globo after the Final Draw. “They took an early 1-0 lead, nearly went 2-0 up and then conceded straight after. It was an extremely high-level game, a World Cup level. They are a quality side and we will have to raise our own game.”

Cameroon, meanwhile, are a side that Brazil only have happy memories of, having beaten them 3-0 en route to world title number four at USA 1994 and then 4-1 on home soil in 2014.

After avoiding the clutch of sides they have never played at the world finals before, such as Canada, Korea Republic or Senegal, Brazil will find themselves up against very familiar opposition in Qatar, a fact not lost on Tite.

“It’s nothing new for us,” he said. “Obviously it’s a step-up in quality, but that’s the test you expect at the World Cup.”