RIO DE JANEIRO – Less than half of Brazilians – 48 percent – believe their five-time world championship team will win the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which begins on Thursday, a confidence level must lower than before the tourney in any other year.
On the eve of the World Cup that Brazil hosted in 2014, some 68 percent of Brazilian fans believed their team would take the title, a percentage that was 64 percent before the 2010 South Africa World Cup and no less than 83 percent before the 2006 tourney in Germany.
The figures come from a survey taken last week by the Datafolha firm, whose results were published Tuesday in the daily Folha de Sao Paulo, and which also showed that the percentage of Brazilians uninterested in the World Cup this year reached a record 53 percent.
According to Datafolha, which polled 2,824 people in 174 municipalities last week, 11 percent of Brazilians consider that the 2018 title in Russia will go to Germany, current world champion, while 2 percent are betting on Argentina, the same percentage that expects to see Russia, France or Spain take the championship.
But 31 percent said they had no idea which team would win this year’s World Cup.
Despite the fact that at least half of Brazilians believe that Brazil will win the title, 64 percent describe as good or excellent the work of the current Brazilian coach, Tite. Another 13 percent consider him ordinary, 5 percent very bad, while 18 percent gave no answer
Tite’s approval rating after losing just one game since he took over the Brazilian national selection and racked up an impressive number of victories is only lower than the 68 percent that then-Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari boasted before the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
The survey also found that some 53 percent of Brazilians say they have no interest in the World Cup, while just 18 percent of respondents said they had a high level of interest in the tournament.
Brazil, a five-time world champion, is one of the favorites to win the 2018 World Cup and is seeking redemption following its humiliating loss to Germany while hosting the 2014 World Cup.
Germany blasted Brazil 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup semifinals in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.