Tite has named a 23-man squad consisting solely of foreign-based players for the upcoming friendlies against Argentina and South Korea.
The side hasn’t won in four attempts since their Copa America win in July, and Tite will be desperate that the team will get back to winning ways. They have drawn three (Colombia, Senegal and Nigeria) and lost one (Peru) over this period, in matches you would really expect them to win. Performances have been poor too and the pressure is starting to mount on the coach.
Tite hasn’t named any locally-based players in the latest squad, letting them focus on their club duties instead. Despite this being a FIFA date for international friendlies, the domestic league will not pause and the Copa Libertadores final, in which Flamengo play River Plate, takes place just four days after the game against South Korea.
Tite is a conservative coach by nature, but he had done some tinkering in the previous friendlies. Bruno Henrique’s s scintillating form for Flamengo was rewarded and he was given a debut aged 28. Gabriel Barbosa, who has also been excellent for Flamengo, was given a chance too. Jorge (Santos), Weverton (Palmeiras), Ivan (Ponte Preta), Santos (Athletico-PR), Matheus Henrique (Gremio), Rodrigo Caio (Flamengo) and Marcinho (Botafogo), were also called up, but none of them made it onto the pitch.
Renan Lodi, who moved from Athletico-PR to Atletico Madrid earlier this year, was given some game time in the matches and has also made the most recent squad again too. Real Betis’s right back Emerson has also been called up to the senior squad for the first time, while Rodrygo is in and Vinicius Junior is out. Felipe (Atletico Madrid), Douglas (Aston Villa) and Daniel Fuzato (Roma) are some of the other less familiar names on the list.
It will be interesting to see how some of these new names do, and whether Tite actually gives them any game time. Tite is looking at different options, but the core of his team remains the same for most matches and even a guy like Paqueta, although he keeps getting called up, doesn’t get very many minutes to show what he can do on the pitch.
The general impression at the moment is that the team is a ruderless ship, without direction – the results are getting worse, along with the performances. There is still plenty of time to get things right ahead of Qatar 2022, but at the moment the jury is out on whether Tite should be that man. Winning the Copa America on home soil was something of an obligation. He passed that hurdle but style is important too, especially in Brazil, and there were question marks about the style of football that Brazil played in that competition. A defeat to Argentina, and another couple of lukewarm performances in the upcoming friendlies will crank up the pressure another notch.
The match against Argentina will be played in Saudi Arabia on 15 November and the game against South Korea is in the UAE four days later.
GK: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Daniel Fuzato (Roma)
Full backs: Danilo (Juventus), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Emerson (Real Betis), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid)
Centre backs: í‰der Militão (Real Madrid), Felipe (Atletico Madrid), Marquinhos (PSG), Thiago Silva (PSG)
Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fabinho (Liverpool), Douglas (Aston Vila), Arthur (Barcelona), Lucas Paquetá (AC Milan), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Willian (Chelsea)
Forwards: Richarlison (Everton), David Neres (Ajax), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
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CORRECTION: an earlier version of this post incorrectly listed Neymar in the squad and omitted Gabriel Jesus. In fact, Neymar was not called up and Gabriel Jesus has been included. These changes have been corrected in the text.
Ederson and David Neres pull out with injuries. Santos replaces Ederson. As of yet, no replacement for Neres
Wesley – Aston Villa’s tall 22-year old forward – has been called into the squad to replace David Neres. Not exactly a like-for-like replacement