Boss Tite Reveals Brazil Squad to Conquer Russia
May 15, 2018
Brazil’s football superstar Neymar headlines Tite’s squad for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this June.
The faithful Brazilian fans expect more from the Canaries after the team got whipped 7-1 by eventual winners Germany in the 2014 edition at their own stadium.
Brazilian manager Tite placed full confidence in his squad by announcing early the 23 players representing the Seleção. Teams can introduce a preliminary squad with an unlimited number of players before trimming them down to 23 come June 4. But by bypassing the preliminary squad selection and already selecting the final 23, Tite showed that he trusts this group of players to win this World Cup. Brazil, the most successful team in the World Cup with five titles, last won the competition in 2002.
Tite, who replaced Dunga after a shocking Copa America exit, has rejuvenated a struggling Brazil upon his arrival. Under him, the Seleção won 15 out of 19 matches, drawing three, and losing only one match to Leo Messi’s Argentina. In the South American qualifiers, the Brazilians scored 30 goals in just 12 matches under the current manager.
The Chosen Ones
There were no surprises in Tite’s chosen men, with all but four players playing in the greatest teams in Europe. With a squad as star-studded as theirs, Brazil is the favorite among bookmakers to lift FIFA World Cup trophy.
Neymar, the most expensive player in football history, will lead the frontline for Brazil. The Paris-Saint Germain winger is expected to not only score, but also create from the left wing. He got injured last February and is yet to play again, but the quality of the €222 million man is high enough not be included in the squad.
Tite said of the winger:
“We will be much stronger with Neymar doing well, but for him to do well the rest of the team has to be well, too.”
Joining Neymar are Coutinho, Douglas Costa, Gabriel Jesus, and Taison–all winners of their respective leagues—along withUEFA Champions League finalist Roberto Firmino. The impressive list of Brazilian attackers will give Tite selection problems this coming World Cup.
“At first, Gabriel Jesus is our starter. But Roberto Firmino will fight for that position in top form.”
In midfield are Brazilian mainstays Willian, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Casemiro, Coutinho, and Fred. Coutinho, Barcelona’s second most expensive player bought, is the versatile player Tite needs for his tactics to work.
“Coutinho can play in the middle and in the flanks, he is versatile. Sometimes, preparation gives you elements that you didn’t have and force you to change your mind.”
In defense is the ever present Marcelo. Known for his marauding runs forward, the afro-wearing left back will be an important factor in both Brazil’s attack and defense. Alongside him are Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Miranda, and Filipe Luis. Only three outfield players play outside of Europe. Renato Augusto, who lost prominence after an injury-plagued stay at Germany’s Bayer 04, has impressed Tite with solid midfield performances for Brazil and Chinese club Beijing Guoan.
Local players Fagner and Geromel, from Brazil’s Corinthians and Gremio respectively, are rewarded for their solid performances in South America. However, the pressure is on them as they replaced Brazilian stalwarts Dani Alves and David Luiz. Fagner, the right back, also has to compete with City’s Danilo for the open right back slot.
According to the manager:
“The challenge is open on the right back, but Danilo has some advantage now because he has performed well recently.”
The goalkeeper position is a highly contested one, as both Alisson Becker and Ederson have equal chances to be Brazil’s number one. Alisson reflexes and positioning has saved his Roma on multiple occasions, while Ederson’s distribution contributed to Manchester City’s unstoppable offense. Corinthians’ Cassio, a dependable keeper, is expected to warm the bench unless the first two get injured.
Notable players excluded in the 23-man roster are Alex Sandro and Fabinho, defenders who impressed for Juve and Monaco respectively, as they do not fit the tactics Brazil employs. Missing from the squad is Bernard from Shakhtar, who was a dependable winger from previous Brazilian squads but was deemed replaceable by Tite. Also left out are Hulk and Oscar who ditched the competitive European scene for Chinese salaries, and as a result, saw their footballing qualities deteriorate.
Neymar and Brazil will start the road to World Cup glory this June 18 against Switzerland.
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Man City), Cassio (Corinthians)
Full-backs: Marcelo (Real Madrid) Danilo (Man City), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Fagner (Corinthians).
Centre-backs: Marquinhos (PSG), Thiago Silva (PSG), Miranda (Inter Milan), Pedro Geromel (Gremio).
Midfielders: Willian (Chelsea), Fernandinho (Man City), Paulinho (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Coutinho (Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Fred (Shakhtar).
Forwards: Neymar (PSG), Gabriel Jesus (Man City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Douglas Costa (Juventus), Taison (Shakhtar).