By Angelica Medina

(Reuters) – After winning a fourth consecutive Copa America, Brazil are hopeful they have found the right balance between experience, emerging talent and natural flair to deliver a first Women’s World Cup trophy.

The Brazilians, eighth in the FIFA rankings, were dumped out of the 2019 tournament in the round of 16, which led to Swede Pia Sundhage taking over from Vadao to become the team’s first foreign coach.

Sundhage, who led the U.S. to Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012, and Sweden to silver in Rio de Janeiro, has instilled discipline and confidence, looking to get the right blend of technique and experience from veteran players and emerging talent.

“Experienced players will be important. It’s a balance they make with the younger ones,” Sundhage said at a press conference last month. “I like this mix and it’s just the beginning. That could be the winning formula.”

That key element of experience prompted the long-awaited return to the squad of 37-year-old Marta, the team’s record scorer, who will be playing in her sixth World Cup after spending just over a year on the sidelines due to injury.

“Marta is a queen. Being around her and having the chance to train her is great,” added Sundhage. “Whether she will be in the starting line-up, I don’t know. But she will have our support.”

Defender Tamires and midfielders Andressa Alves and Debinha also bring strong leadership and technical excellence to the squad, which will be key in Sundhage’s flexible strategy.

The emergence of a crop of skilful youngsters has resulted in 11 World Cup debutants in the squad. Midfielder Ary Borges and forwards Kerolin and Geyse offer the kind of explosiveness and unpredictability the team can use to great effect.

Brazil begin their World Cup against Panama on July 24 before facing France five days later and conclude their Group F campaign against Jamaica on Aug. 2.

(Reporting by Angelica Medina in Mexico City; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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