“We’re not the hot favourites, but the Brazilian national team has a lot of strength and ability too,” he tells fifa.com. “The Confederations Cup is a short tournament and so mental preparation is most important. This competition is over very quickly and the team who are the best prepared will be crowned champions.”
Brazil have been drawn against world champions Italy, United States and Egypt in the group stages, with the African champions their first opponents on Monday.
Lucio says their World Cup qualifying wins over Paraguay and Uruguay, which cemented their place at the top of the South American tables, boded well for their chances in South Africa.
“Even though this is a different competition, the two qualifying wins were very important,” he says. “These results put us in the best possible frame of mind for the matches ahead. We’re going to fight for the title, that’s our goal.”
Coach Dunga has dropped AC Milan’s out-of-form Ronaldinho and is also missing Manchester United midfielder Anderson and Chelsea centreback Alex, who are injured.
But he still has plenty of talent in his squad, with Manchester City’s Robinho leading the frontline along with Sevilla’s Luis Fabiano and AC Milan’s Alexandre Pato, with new Real Madrid signing Kaka the midfield kingpin.
“Brazil are Copa America holders and have been world champions five times,” Dunga says. “That said, we’ve obviously got to respect Italy and Spain. The national teams here are all great sides.”