On a scale of one to ten my excitement level was about a three when I saw Tite’s latest squad for the upcoming friendlies against Uruguay and Cameroon.
Over a week ago now Tite named the Brazil squad to face Uruguay and Cameroon in upcoming friendly matches in England. The Seleção will play Uruguay at the Emirates Stadium in London on the 16th of November, a match that I am going to, and Cameroon, in Milton Keynes, a few days later.
The Seleção games have been coming round quicker than I can write about them, but I did watch a replay of their victory against Argentina in Saudi Arabia and I will give some my thoughts on that, and the team’s general post-World Cup evolution, in a post later this week. To sum it up, Tite has been pragmatic, but a little boring. The squad for the upcoming friendlies was no different.
There was a first call up for Napoli’s 27-year old midfielder Allan, but the recall of Paulinho, who Barcelona deemed surplus to requirements and didn’t have a very good World Cup, was a strange decision. Not as weird as the call-up of Renato Augusto for the previous friendlies, but strange nonetheless. Why is Tite persisting with these guys who aren’t good enough now and definitely won’t be good enough in Qater in four years’ time?
There was a recall for Marcelo, who has been struggling for form with Real Madrid this year. Alex Sandro was the man to miss out. Tite didn’t call up any Brazil-based players, except for Dede – whose club Cruzeiro have nothing left to play for this year – in order not to disrupt the run in of the local Championship. Fair play to him for that, although the likes of Lucas Paqueta, Everton, Fagner and Pedro Geromel can consider themselves unlucky.
Of the European-based players in recent squads, Eder Militao and Fred miss out, although there was a recall for Douglas Costa, who had been dropped after spitting on an opponent during a match for Juventus’s. Fringe players Wallace, Richarlison, Arthur, Fabinho, Danilo and Pablo kept their places.
Tita hasn’t been helped by the fixture list in Brazil, but his team and squad selections have been conservative. It is now quite clear that rather than building for the World Cup in Qatar in four years’ time, he is placing the emphasis on next year’s Copa America.
Alisson (Liverpool), Brazao (Cruzeiro), Ederson (Manchester City)
Danilo (Manchester City), Dede (Cruzeiro), Fabinho (Liverpool), Felipe Luis (Athletico Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (PSG), Pablo (Bordeaux), Miranda (Inter Milan)
Allan (Napoli), Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande), Phillipe Coutinho (Barcelona), Wallace (Hannover)
Douglas Costa (Juventus), Firmino (Liverpool), Neymar (PSG), Richarlison (Everton), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Willian (Chelsea)
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