Published on February 18th, 2017 | by BrazilStats0
5 footballers to boost Brazil on road to Russia 2018
Tite is scouting Brazilians ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Here are five footballers with hopes of being the chosen ones of the Brazil boss
Ederson – Benfica: Goalkeeper
Ederson Moraes has been in remarkable form this season. The 23-year old has outperformed compatriot Julio Cesar, who had been chosen as the best goalkeeper in the Portuguese league. With his amazing reflexes, reliability under pressure and decent ball-playing abilities, the rising star of goalkeeping has won the admiration of many top flight sides in the old continent, such as Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
Ederson produced some spectacular saves, under the eyes of Brazil’s goalkeeping coach Claudio Taffarel against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. Reports suggest that the 1994 World Champion has been extremely impressed with Ederson’s efforts
Mariano – Sevilla: Right-back
Many local journalists described Mariano as the best Brazilian right-back in Europe last season, following his contribution in helping Sevilla to win the Europa League, with consistently overwhelming displays. This season, the 30-year old has been just as good, having adapted to the system imposed by new coach, Jorge Sampaoli.
In a recent interview, Tite admitted that Mariano has caught his eye, and that a call-up may not be too far away, especially with Dani Alves not getting younger. The national team will be looking for a plan B ahead of the quest of a sixth star in Russia, next year.
David Luiz – Chelsea: Centre-back
David Luiz has many haters in Brazil following his nightmare performance against Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi final. Many fans and journalists had a veto on him. After his return from Paris Saint Germain to London giants Chelsea, the 29-year old is enjoying his football once again.
Having cemented himself as a key element in Antonio Conte’s system, Luiz has won back the respect of many fans. Chelsea are the league leaders in England, and have the most organized defense. So, is it time to give another chance for the ball-playing center back?
Alex Sandro – Juventus: Left-back
Alex Sandro is considered one of the best left-backs in Italy. The Brazilian has been one of the most consistent performers of league leaders Juventus, loving to support the attack with his dribbles, goals and assists – while also being aware of his core defensive duties. While Tite has made it clear that he is a fan of Marcelo, is it time to inject fresh blood and give Alex Sandro an opportunity ahead of the aging Filipe Luis?
Fabinho – Monaco: Midfielder
Fabinho gained fame for being one of the best right-backs in the French league, but has since then swapped position into central midfield, and has been just as impressive in his new role. Many Ligue 1 pundits have picked him in their team of the season, as midfielder. With the versatility, explosiveness and energy he adds, Brazil could certainly rely on the 23-year old in either of the two positions.
Tite, just like Guardiola, likes his right back to cut-into a central position during the build-up phase, and operate as deep-lying playmaker. Fabinho can do just fine in that role, if he was to replace Dani Alves. In midfield, he can always compete with Chinese league star Paulinho.
Napoli midfielder, Allan, has the level to compete with Paulinho for a spot in midfield, but I could not have included him in the top five, as he has been a squad-rotation player this season, having lost competition to Polish international Piort Zielinski.
Real Sociedad star Willian Jose could have been an option to replace the injured Gabriel Jesus, but Tite has already hinted that he prefers to rely on Sport attacker Diego Souza, as he is not a fan of target-men and prefers someone more suitable for the false-nine role.