Brazil’s 26-man World Cup roster has been announced, with Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal making the cut but Roberto Firmino of Liverpool getting left off.
Although he was a member of Brazil’s most recent team for the international friendlies against Ghana and Tunisia in September, Firmino did not start and has not represented his nation since the Copa America of the previous year.
Gabriel Jesus and Martinelli, who has scored five goals to help Mikel Arteta’s squad win the Premier League, are both in Tite’s lineup, but Gabriel Magalhaes, another member of the Arsenal team, is left off.
The team led by Neymar also includes Tottenham striker Richarlison, who has scored 17 goals in 24 starts for his country, and Manchester United’s Antony, who shared a video on social media of the moment he learned he had been selected.
Dani Alves, a seasoned defender, was chosen despite a recent knee injury.
Alves joined Mexican club Pumas after leaving Barcelona at the end of the previous campaign in order to pursue his World Cup goal, and Tite claimed that his leadership abilities would be an asset.
“He adds technical and tactical aspects that are impressive, to be an organiser, an articulator,” Tite said. “Sure, he is not a 60 to 70-metres player anymore, but he has other virtues. The criteria awards his technical quality, but mental and physical aspects too.”
Philippe Coutinho, an offensive midfielder for Aston Villa, was also left off the list due to a thigh injury he suffered over the weekend in training. He will be out for a few weeks.
Brazil, the most dominant team in World Cup history, enters the tournament as the favorite and top-ranked team in FIFA.
Despite not dropping a match throughout CONMEBOL qualifying, they have only advanced past the quarterfinals once since winning Japan 2002.
Tite, who will retire after the competition, will preside over Serbia’s opening Group G match on November 24. His team will then play Switzerland on November 28 and Cameroon on December 2.
At the CBF offices in Rio, Tite signed off on his 26-man World Cup roster. The 61-year-old said he was certain about 20 players, but he needed the September internationals and a few scouting trips to England and Italy during the previous two weeks to decide on the remaining players.
Despite being close to 40 years old, legendary full-back Dani Alves, who currently represents Pumas in Mexico, was selected. Gleison Bremer, the Serie A defender of the year, was selected by Tite to compete against Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, and Eder Militao at center-back. Three Juventus players will feel at ease when Brazil assembles for a pre-tournament training camp at the club’s Continassa training facility in Turin next week. He is one of them.
Gabriel Magalhaes of Arsenal lost out to Bremer for the last center-back position. On Mikel Arteta’s squad, the other Gabriels will be on the flight to Italy. Both Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli will be in Qatar, despite the fact that their omission from the final warm-up games against Ghana and Tunisia in September sparked concern at the time.
Philippe Coutinho’s injury at Aston Villa mostly helped Martinelli, who merited a spot in the starting 26. Along with Antony, Raphinha, Vinicius Junior, and Rodrygo, he will be among the interesting wide options for the Selecao.
Pedro of Flamengo is the chosen backup up front, with Richarlison of Brazil likely to lead the line. The top scorer in the Copa Libertadores made use of his opportunity in the last exhibition match against Tunisia and will fly to Turin at the cost of his colleague Gabigol and Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.
Brazil’s World Cup Official Squad
Forwards: Neymar (PSG), Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal), Antony (Manchester United), Raphinha (Barcelona), Richarlison (Tottenham), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Pedro (Flamengo)