Brazil have already qualified for next year’s World Cup, but Tite called up mainly tried and tested players for the upcoming qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia. The two new faces were Corinthians keeper Cássio and Grêmio’s excellent playmaker Luan.
It would be unfair for Tite to field a weak side in the World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia, on the 31st of August and 5th of September respectively, even though Brazil have already qualified for next year’s World Cup in Russia. After all, Ecuador and Colombia themselves are fighting for qualification from a very tight South American qualifying group and it would be an injustice to the other teams fighting for qualification. That being said, you would be forgiven for expecting perhaps a few more new faces, and players playing their football in Brazil, to be named in Tite’s squad.
Out of the 23 players called up, just four are playing their football domestically, even though European club competitions are just getting started. In addition to Luan and Cássio, São Paulo’s Rodrigo Caio and Corinthians’ Fágner were called up. Corinthians forward Jô, and Santos keeper Vanderlei – who has been in sensational form this year, highlighted by another excellent performance in last night’s Copa Libertadores match for Santos – can consider themselves unlucky not to get a call. Personally, I think that Rodrigo Caio was lucky to keep his place, particularly with David Luiz omitted. Atlético Mineiro centre back Gabriel would have been a domestically-based alternative. Manchester City’s new signing Danilo missed out.
When explaining his selection in Wednesday’s press conference, Seleção coach Tite said that he opted for: past form for club and seleção; current form; and an eye on next year’s World Cup. The likes of Diego Souza (Sport) and Rodriguinho (Corinthians), who recently featured in Brazil’s friendly matches in Australia, will feel unlucky to have lost their places, particularly since Taison and Giuliano kept theirs. Diego, who pulls the strings for Flamengo these days, also missed out. The big guns Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Dani Alves – who were rested over the summer – were recalled.
Here is the full squad:
Ederson (Manchester City)
Miranda (Inter Milan)
Thiago Silva (PSG)
Rodrigo Caio (São Paulo)
Daniel Alves (PSG)
Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Filipe Luis (Atlético Madrid)
Casemiro (Real Madrid)
Fernandinho (Manchester City)
Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan)
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
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