A few weeks ago it was an all local affair, now it is an all international affair as Mano Menezes named his squad for Brazilâ€™s upcoming friendly matches against Gabon and Egypt.
Brazilian clubs have been furious with recent national team friendly matches, losing their key players for important league matches. The Brazilian fixture calendar is a joke (waaaayÂ too many games) and unlike Europe, it does not stop for international fixtures. So, with the SerieÂ A season coming to a dramatic finale common sense prevailed and Mano Menezes called up foreign based players only for these two matches.
The pick of the bunch is KakÃ¡Â who, thanks to his sparkling form for Real Madrid, earns his first call up in the Mano MenezesÂ era. DuduÂ (ex-Cruzeiro), Alex Sandro (ex-Santos), WillianÂ and Bruno CÃ©sarÂ (both ex-Corinthians) were all called up for the first time. Robinho was the surprise exclusion.
Keepers: Neto (Fiorentina), Diego Alves (Valencia)
Full-backs: Alex Sandro (Porto), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Adriano (Barcelona), Fabio (Manchester United)
Defenders: ThiagoÂ Silva (Milan), David LuizÂ (Chelsea), LuisÃ£oÂ (Benfica)
Midfielders: Lucas LeivaÂ (Liverpool), LuizÂ Gustavo (Bayern de Munique), Sandro (Tottenham), FernandinhoÂ (Shakhtar), Elias (Sporting)
Midfielders: Bruno CÃ©sarÂ (Benfica), HernanesÂ (Lazio), KakÃ¡Â (Real Madrid), WillianÂ (Shakhtar), DuduÂ (DÃnamo de Kiev)
Forwards: Hulk (Porto), Jonas (Valencia), KlÃ©ber (Porto)
So, what are peoples thoughts on that?
Iâ€™m pleased to see KakÃ¡Â back. He deserves it with his start to the season for Real. Iâ€™m looking forward to having another look at the likes of LuizÂ Gustavo, Hernanes and Hulk too. Alex Sandro is liability defensively if ever there was one, definitely not seleÃ§Ã£oÂ material. Interesting decision to leave out the fit-again Robinho. I guess Mano is trying to make sure he stays on his toes. I’m not quite sure why Maicon continues to be left out.
The match with Gabon will be played on 10th of November in Gabon. The Egypt game is on the 14th of November in Doha.