New faces and some notable omissions dominate Brazil’s latest squad to face United States and El Salvador as Tite wipes memory of Russia 2018
This summer Brazil missed a golden opportunity to bring home a sixth World Cup title, in a tournament in Russia where most of the traditional top sides underperformed, or did not even qualify in the first place.
Tite was heavily criticised for his debatable selection of players, so it is therefore imperative that the Brazil boss gives an improved impression in his first post-World Cup call-up. And so he did, with several notable ins and outs.
Several players that were seen as untouchable in the eyes of Brazil boss Tite, let down a whole nation on Russian territory, namely the likes of Fernandinho, Paulinho, Willian, and even Gabriel Jesus to a certain extent.
However, in the youngster’s defense, he was only 21 and perhaps not yet ready to soak up such pressure. But when it comes to the midfield trio of veterans, it was chaotic, with an exclusion from the national team being the only decision that the Seleção fans would bear. Only the Chelsea-man, somehow, some way survived the cleansing process. For now at least.
But fans are counting the days for when promising talents such as Barcelona’s Malcom, Everton’s Richarlison, Ajax’s David Neres or Real Madrid’s Vinícius Júnior will move the old guard aside, once and for all.
Meanwhile, veterans like Thiago Silva, Filipe Luís and Renato Augusto maintained a spot, mainly due to their good World Cup displays, as Tite has prioritized winning Copa América on Brazilian soil, come June 2019. So it is normal that he will need a bit of experience and leadership, to avoid another blackout as was the case when Brazil hosted the FIFA World Cup, back in 2014.
The absence of Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson was reportedly due to personal reasons, so he was replaced by Flamengo U-20 goalkeeper Hugo. Dedé and Felipe from Cruzeiro and Porto respectively were the new additions in central defense, but the fans were hoping for Lazio’s Luis Felipe instead, as Brazil reportedly faces the risk of losing him to Italy.
Fabinho finally got a well-deserved call-up, but at right-back, a position he has not occupied for over two years, and Alex Sandro finally makes the cut…and about time too.
In midfield, Manchester United duo Fred and Andreas Pereira were brought in to add technical quality, alongside Flamengo sensation Lucas Paquetá who is seen as the next big thing to come out of Brazil. The presence of Barcelona’s new midfield architect, Arthur, was only logical, as he’s already started to win over the hearts of the Camp Nou fans.
And last but not least, we touch on the attacking line with the surprise inclusions of Grêmio’s Éverton and Fluminense’s Pedro, who are on 13 and and 18 goals in 2018, respectively.
They’re certainly two of the most promising players in the league, with the Grêmio-man adding skills and tricks in one v one situations, and the Xerém product imposing himself as the best rising striker in the Brasileirão – a reliable centre-forward who shows up in big moments and scores lots of goals.
The squad is quite young overall, while retaining a few experienced faces to pass the torch. Good times lie ahead for Seleção fans, with Tite showing clear signs that he is willing to learn from his World Cup mistakes.