Ex-England captain Alan Shearer:
"They have a manager in Luiz Felipe Scolari who has done it all before. If Neymar performs... then they have a great chance."
Ex-England winger Chris Waddle:
"They are on a mission because of all the protests over whether they should be hosting the World Cup and is it money wasted or not."
Tottenham and ex-US goalkeeper Brad Friedel
"They have got some exceptional talent and will be able to cope with the different weather and travelling around their own country better."
Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown:
"I was in the Brazil camp for the Confederations Cup last summer and was taken aback by the emotional link between the players and the fans. ... There are lots of pressure on them, but I think they are good enough to deal with it."
Ex-Liverpool defender Alan Hansen:
"No country has done more for the game and it would be the perfect tournament if Brazil win it."
Ex-England forward Michael Owen:
"They're basically playing in their home conditions... and it's Messi's time to shine."
Ex-England captain Gary Lineker:
"They're in an easy group and will probably finish the group without wasting too much energy."
Ex-Man United, Everton defender Phil Neville:
"They have Messi and also a settled system that suits him as well."
Ex-Derby County midfielder Robbie Savage:
"Messi is not the only reason... They also have Sergio Aguero in attack... They will be ruthless."
Ex-Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel:
"Despite losing two of their best players, the 23 players whom they're bringing are still top-quality. You can play anyone of them; I don't think any other team has that strength in depth."
Ex-Brazil defender Cafu:
"Germany have developed very well. We all believe in a final against Germany. They will definitely reach the final."
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (above):
"The champions are (decided) on penalties... Portugal (had) lost on penalties many times, England always lose on penalties. We will find a situation where the referee decide the world champions by a coin (toss)."