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The Xtra Historic Moment: Brazil Has the Potential to Conclude a 24-Year World Cup Drought, Says Cafu

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Prince Jean

Jun 21, 2024

The World Cup Throwback

Cafu, who was instrumental in Brazil's World Cup victory in 1994 in the United States, is confident that the Brazilian national team can replicate their success and end another 24-year drought by winning the World Cup in 2026. Credit:fleekloaded

As Brazil approaches the FIFA World Cup 2026™, the nation faces a 24-year hiatus since their last triumph, a gap that echoes the wait between their victories in 1970 and 1994. Cafu, a key player from the 1994 and 2002 World Cup-winning teams, spoke to FIFA about the potential for history to repeat itself. With the tournament returning to the USA, one of the co-hosts for 2026, Cafu sees a symbolic opportunity for Brazil to reclaim their former glory.

Reflecting on past successes, Cafu recalled the 24-year gap Brazil endured after their 1970 win until their next World Cup victory in 1994, also held in the USA. He emphasized the similarities between then and now, suggesting that the current 24-year gap could motivate the Brazilian team to reach new heights.

Cafu highlighted the unique pressures faced by his generation, including the intense scrutiny from media and fans, which the current players must also navigate, albeit in the new era of social media. The legendary full-back underlined the importance of balancing responsibility with enjoyment on the field, a philosophy that helped his team cope with the expectations.

Looking ahead, Cafu expressed confidence in the younger Brazilian players like Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior, who are expected to play pivotal roles by 2026. With Neymar reaching the latter stages of his career by then, the blend of youth and experience could be crucial.

Brazil’s recent World Cup performances have been less stellar, with several quarter-final exits and a devastating semi-final loss in 2014. Yet, Cafu remains optimistic, warning the football world against underestimating Brazil, given their proven capability to triumph unexpectedly.

The task of steering Brazil back to the pinnacle of world football falls to Dorival Junior, the national team’s coach since January. Brazil faces immediate challenges with the upcoming Copa America and the continuation of South American qualifiers, where they currently hold a precarious position just above the qualification cut-off.

Cafu also touched on the unique rivalry and mutual respect between Brazil and Argentina, noting how he, along with many Brazilian fans, supported Argentina in the 2022 Qatar World Cup following Brazil’s exit, out of admiration for Lionel Messi.

As Brazil gears up for the challenges ahead, the blend of historical motivation, emerging talent, and strategic leadership under Dorival Junior sets the stage for a potential resurgence in 2026, echoing the triumphant patterns of the past.

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