The Brazilian Football Confederation, which oversees Brazilian football, is in charge of the Seleço Canarinho, the men’s national team that represents Brazil in international competition. Since 1923, they have belonged to FIFA, and since 1916, CONMEBOL.
The stats for Brazil’s final season are impressive: 10 wins, 3 draws, 30 goals scored, and only 4 goals allowed. So, one may assume that during the World Cup preparations, the squad would be sailing in the calmest of seas.
But before Qatar, coach Tite selected his final roster for friendlies against Ghana and Tunisia this month. There are a few surprises, and it’s unclear exactly what they signify.
There is only one right-back in the 26-man squad, with no place for Dani Alves. Does this mean that the veteran has no chance of making the plane to Qatar? Almost certainly not. The lack of a back-up to Danilo shows that the door is still open to Alves. For these games there are a few centre-backs, most notably Eder Militao, who can move across to full-back if required.
Alves needs to be in top physical shape at his age, which he is not right now because of his recent relocation to Mexico. He is being given time to get into the necessary condition.
Another challenging position is left-back reserve. Prime candidate is Alex Sandro. Guilherme Arana, a player from the country, was in the lead for the reserve place until this week, when he received a catastrophic injury that will prevent him from competing in the World Cup. Renan Lodi has been replaced by Alex Telles.
Philippe Coutinho, who has long been a favorite of coach Tite, is also let down. He was defeated by Flamingo’s Everton Ribeiro, who was recalled following his team’s recent string of successful performances. Does this imply that Ribeiro has gained the upper hand in the race for a World Cup spot? Or is this just a trial run, the player’s final opportunity to prove that he can translate his club form to the national team? Time will only tell.
Gabriel Magalhaes had seemed a certainty for the fourth center-back position because of his left foot and leadership abilities. However, two Italian players, Bremer of Juventus and Ibanez of Roma, have received their first calls to duty. Magalhaes has been a member of the team but hasn’t yet gotten a chance to play.
Has Magalhaes actually been surpassed by the two recent arrivals? It might have been assumed before the call-up that these friendlies were the best chance for Tite to see him in a match setting. Being excluded at this point is not a positive sign.
Tite is well aware that Pedro is a player who should be used against deep-lying defenses since that is where his knowledge of the penalty area shines. His best chance might present itself when Brazil plays Tunisia in the second of their September friendlies.
In September, the stakes are quite high for Pedro and a select few other members of this team.
Brazil National Team Roster
Brazil, who are currently led by Tite, are hot favorites to win the world championship once more in December. Although nothing in football is given, the South American juggernauts will have to work tirelessly and perform at the top of their game if they want to win a sixth championship.
Ederson, Weverton, Alisson
Danilo, Alex Sandro, Alex Telles, Eder Militao, Bremer, Ibanez, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva
Fred, Lucas Paqueta, Everton, Bruno Guimaraes, Fabinho, Ribeiro, Casemiro
Neymar, Pedro, Matheus Cunha, Raphinha, Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Richarlison, Antony, Roberto Firmino
Player to Watch
Neymar – The 30 year old forward, Neymar has been Brazil’s go-to technical player since the Brazil 2014 qualifying campaign, and in recent years, he has become even more crucial for his nation, as evidenced by his scorching start to the season for PSG.
Neymar may play more of a playmaker role for Brazil in Qatar, but he will be permitted to move freely across the attacking third and team up with a young, enthusiastic striker of his choice.
As the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 TM approaches in less than 100 days, we highlight Brazil, the only team to have competed in every edition of the competition and the only one to have won the prized trophy five times.