A Brazil team for the fans – that’s the feeling from Tite’s squad for the country’s upcoming friendlies that sees good news and bad news for two Real Madrid men
Last week, Brazilian national team boss, Tite, revealed the country’s first squad for 2019 for March’s upcoming friendlies against Panama and the Czech Republic. The 23-man squad is comfortably the best that the Seleção boss has ever picked, since taking charge back in 2016.
In fact, if Brazil’s bosses ever decide to give the fans the right to vote for the players that they would like to see, chances are they would have picked the same team as the current one, by 95%. Tite has given the supporters a real reason to renew their enthusiasm ahead of the upcoming 2019 Copa América in Brazil.
In terms of goalkeepers, there is no doubt that Alisson and Ederson are the best two Brazilians, and probably two of the very best in the world. Despite Tite going for Olympic gold medalist Wéverton as third choice, we all know that he won’t even be involved so it can be seen as a maneuver by the manager to keep the local fans interested, by selecting players from the Brazilian league, while making sure to pick the best players in each position.
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— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) February 28, 2019
In the back-line, the picks could not have been closer to perfection. Dani Alves remains a very intelligent veteran who can add experience and leadership despite his not-so-glorious streak for the national team, whereas Danilo has shown signs of improvement this season at Manchester City.
Brazil isn’t exactly very rich in this domain, so these two picks are seen as realistic ones. Meanwhile on the left-hand side, it is seen as no surprise that Marcelo has been dropped following his disappointing World Cup, and poor displays for Real Madrid this season.
Filipe Luis and Alex Sandro both deserve their chance. In central defense, the choice of Thiago Silva and Miranda is justified, looking at the fact that they were rock solid in the FIFA World Cup. Next to them will be Eder Militão and Marquinhos, two youngsters who have been in excellent form for FC Porto and PSG respectively.
And the best part of this whole call-up has to be the midfield. When was the last time Brazil was able to brag about having the best midfield options in the world? It’s certainly not far off with Casemiro and Fabinho in central defensive midfield, Allan and Arthur as the box to box operators, behind Lucas Paqueta and Philippe Coutinho for the traditional ‘8’ role.
All six of them have oozed class in the past few months, despite the ups and downs of Coutinho, who remains a player of high quality, as demonstrated in the World Cup.
Moving up to the front line, the biggest joy was the inclusion of Vinicius Junior. The Real Madrid starlet has been in absolutely fine form throughout this campaign, becoming a regular at the three-time consecutive champions of Europe when so many of his teammates have failed. The youngster will take advantage of Neymar Junior’s injury to get precious game-time on his favorite left side, and will probably rotate with Richarlison. In central attack, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus are the most logical choices.
Whereas on the right side, it seems that Felipe Anderson will be the favorite – despite playing the majority of this season on the left for West Ham. Grêmio rising youngster Everton is seen as the most controversial choice in attack, due to the fact that he plays in Brazil, and his name is not Lucas Moura or David Neres, for instance. But it is difficult to blame Tite, who is trying to keep the local fans interested by picking up some of the local league’s favorites.
Overall, this is the best Brazil squad in a long time. Tite has managed to impress in this call-up, even in slight details such as picking Fabinho as a midfielder for the first time – rather than as right-back.
Fernandinho’s injury has certainly helped, as it will now be very difficult to pick the Manchester City midfielder for Copa América due to the fact that his last Brazil game prior to the upcoming tournament, would have been *that* famous match against Belgium, where it did not go too well for him, nor for Brazil.