The 12 players on World Cup standby revealed

Lucas Paqueta. Tite. Standby list World Cup. Brazil

20-year-old Lucas Paquetá is close to a Seleção call up (pic: André Durão)

There has been some mystery and lots of speculation about the names of the 12 players on standby for Brazil’s World Cup squad: who were they and were the eligible to play for their clubs in the meantime? All has now been revealed.

When Tite named the Seleção’s 23-man World Cup squad last week, he told the media than an additional 12 players were on standby. But with the exception of Dedé, who the coach praised in that interview, the names of those players was kept secret. The thinking behind that decision was to avoid discussions in the media about who those names might be and whether or not they should be in the main squad. Seems a bit pointless to me, but that was the thinking.

The whole affair seems to have been quite poorly managed and the names have now been revealed. The complication stepped from regulations, interpretation of those regulations and poor communication between the clubs, the Brazilian football association (the CBF) and FIFA. With a few exceptions – like players playing in this evening’s Champions League final – FIFA required clubs to release their players for international duty on 21 May.

For most clubs, this wasn’t a problem. But there was some doubt as to whether the players on the standby list were required to be released. Palmeiras had an important Brazilian Cup match and their forward Dudu was one of the players on Brazil’s standby list. Wanting to play him, but fearing a fine if they did, they sought clarity from the CBF, who themselves sought clarity from FIFA. Ultimately the answer was yes, he can play, but it came too late for him to be named in the team for that match. Other Brazilian clubs were unsure whether their players would be allowed to play this weekend too.

With all this uncertainty and slightly pissed off, the clubs ended up revealing the names of their players on the list, and in the process blowing the CBF’s plan to keep it on the hush. The list makes interesting reading: four of the players are uncapped and eight of the twelve play their club football in Brazil:

Neto (goalkeeper, Valencia – Spain) – 0 caps

Rafinha (right back, Bayern Munich – Germany) – 4 caps

Dedé (centre back, Cruzeiro) – 9 caps, 1 goal

Rodrigo Caio (centre back, São Paulo) – 4 caps

Alex Sandro (left back, Juventus – Italy) – 10 caps

Arthur (midfielder, Grêmio) – 0 caps

Maicon (midfielder, Grêmio) – 0 caps

Rodriguinho (attacking midfield, Corinthians) – 2 caps

Giuliano (attacking midfield, Fenerbahçe – Turkey) – 14 caps

Lucas Paquetá (attacking midfield, Flamengo) – 0 caps

Luan (attacking midfield, Grêmio) – 2 caps

Dudu (forward, Palmeiras) – 3 caps, 1 goal

There is no surprise that the likes of Rafinha, Alex Sandro, Giuliano, Rodrigo Caio and Luan are on it. Rodriguinho’s good form this season – he’s scored four goals in four league games – earns him a deserved place. Dudu isn’t widely spoken about for the Seleção in Brazil but he deserves to be there in this blog’s opinion. Barcelona-bound Arthur is on the list even though he is currently injured.

The big surprises though are Maicon and Lucas Paquetá: both are uncapped and at different stages in their career. Maicon is 32-years old but a very important part of Gremio’s midfield. Lucas Paquetá is 20-years old but making a massive impression with his performances for Flamengo this year. Great to see that age isn’t a barrier – nobody is too young or too old. Let’s hope that none of these players will ultimately not be needed this summer since that would only happen if someone in the main squad gets injured. Very interesting to know who almost made it though and who is on Tite’s radar though.

For Brazil’s full 23-man World Cup squad, check out last week’s blogpost .

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