Brazil: World Cup 2018 squad confirmed
Brazil manager Tite confirms his final 23-man squad that will be on the plane to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
In the early hours of this morning, Brazil manager Tite confirmed the names that have been selected to play for the Selecao at the 2018 World Cup which begins on June 15.
It was an announcement that included few surprises but answered a question or two on who would come in to replace the ruled-out Dani Alves.
In a rather unprecedented move, Tite announced back in February the names of those who, barring any major injuries, were already guaranteed a seat on the plane.
Who was already going?
On the back of a comfortably successful qualifying campaign, which saw Brazil top the COMNEBOL standings ten points clear of second-placed Uruguay, Tite was quick to assure those who played a major part would be given a ticket to Russia.
PSG’s Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Neymar and Thiago Silva were included, as were Serie A’s Alisson Becker and Miranda. Casemiro, Paulinho, Phillipe Coutinho and Marcelo represented La Liga, while Manchester City’s Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus were selected alongside Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino and Chelsea’s Willian.
Renato Augusto, who plies his trade in China with Superleague side Beijing Guoan, was the only non-European-based player to make the initial 15.
Throughout the entire 18-game qualifying campaign, Brazil lost only one match – a 2-0 defeat away at Chile in the very first game.
Finishing a massive 15 points ahead of Peru, who occupied fifth place and qualified through a play-off, Brazil scored a whopping 41 goals and conceded only 11.
It is this sort of form that has seen the bookies and football fans throughout the world lean towards tipping the South American nation to win the trophy.
Who has been added?
With provisional squads being capped at 23, it meant that there were still eight slots up for grabs.
However, PSG’s Dani Alves sustaining a knee injury playing for PSG, opening an extra spot and selection dilemma for Tite.
It was announced in the early hours however which nine players would be drafted in to bolster the initial 15 selected.
Brazil-based Corinthians had two players, goalkeeper Cassio and fullback Fagner called up to the squad. Manchester City’s Ederson and Danilo were also awarded a spot in the squad.
Two of the final five open slots went to Shakhtar Donetsk duo Fred and Taison, and there was also a call-up for Juventus loanee Douglas Costa.
Gremio’s Pedro Geromel is the third of only three Brazil-based players to make the cut.
The final – and arguably most controversial – spot was handed to Atletico Madrid’s Felipe Luis. The ex-Chelsea man, who has only just returned from injury, has fended off Juventus’ Alex Sandro, who has had a steady season in Serie A.
The final squad
Goalkeepers: Alisson (AS Roma), Ederson (Manchester City), Cassio (Corinthians)
Defenders: Thiago Silva, Marquinhos (PSG), Danilo (Manchester City), Geromel (Gremio), Miranda (Internazionale), Fagner (Corinthians), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Felipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Paulinho (Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Willian (Chelsea), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Forwards: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Firmino (Liverpool), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk), Douglas Costa (Juventus)
Brazil, alongside France and Germany, are considered strong contenders to lift the trophy in Russia, in what would be their first triumph since the 2002 edition in South Korea/Japan.
Only four out of the 23 selected were in the squad that was humiliated 7-1 by Germany in the home World Cup of 2014.
The Selecao get their 2018 World Cup campaign underway on June 17th when they face Switzerland in Rostov.
They then head to St. Petersburg to play Costa Rica on the 22nd, then finish their group games against Serbia on the 26th in Moscow at the Spartak Stadium.
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