When Neymar, Oscar and the other members of Brazil’s national team take the field against Croatia on June 12 they will be kicking off not just the World Cup, but a big two years for Brazil in which it will often be in the international spotlight. The country will go to the polls on October 3 when President Dilma Rousseff will seek a second term. And in August 2016, Rio de Janeiro will host the Olympic Games.
Michael Reid writes the Bello column on Latin America in The Economist. His book Brazil: The Troubled Rise of a Global Power is published by Yale University Press