Brazil will not have its star Neymar for its next matches for the qualifying rounds of the World Cup in Qatar 2022, with Ecuador and Paraguay, but it will have the return of Philippe Coutinho and Dani Alves, as well as the young Vinicius Jr and Rodrigo of Real Madrid.
Although the absence of Neymar was practically confirmed by the injury from which the French PSG striker continues to recover, the Brazilian coach, Adenor Leonardo Bachi ‘Tite’, surprised this Thursday by calling Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa / ING) and veteran Dani Alves, who, Despite his 38 years, he was recently hired by Barcelona.
Coutinho, recently signed by Aston Vila and who remained quiet for almost seven months, was considered by Tite as a strategic player who can once again reach a high level of play.
“He is an important player of creation and conclusion. He is recovering his best level and is in a position to return,” he explained at the press conference he gave after the announcement.
For the first matches of the World Cup qualifiers this year, the Brazilian coach again wanted a group dominated by young forwards, with Raphinha, Antony, Rodrigo and, of course, Vinicius Jr, the main attacker in Brazilian football today and who each He is getting stronger every time at Real Madrid, after completing three seasons with the Spanish club.
Vinicius Jr stood out in the last Canharinha meetings against Colombia and Argentina, but his adaptation to the Brazilian team has not been easy, so Tite asked for “calm” and not to put so much responsibility on his shoulders.
Neymar will be the great absentee this time. The PSG shirt 10 could not be part of the 26 called by the Brazilian coach because he has not yet finished recovering from the injury he suffered to his left ankle at the end of last November.
At the press conference, Tite also assured that Brazil is among the favorites to win the World Cup in Qatar this year, along with France, England, Belgium, Germany, Argentina and Spain.
“It is not a favorite, but it is” (in the group of favorites), he said.
Specifying 26 players for the first matches for the qualifying rounds of the Qatari World Cup was not easy for Tite, who had to sort out several names due to the covid-19, a pandemic that does not give truce and whose infections have been accelerated with the omicron, the new variant of the virus.
To avoid unexpected positives, the summoned players who play in Europe will concentrate in Madrid to travel together on a chartered flight to Quito, where Brazil will visit Ecuador on January 27.
Leader of the qualifying rounds, Brazil guaranteed their presence in the Qatari World Cup by beating Colombia 1-0 last October. Unbeaten to date, Canarinha, has 11 victories and two draws in 13 games, with a 6-point advantage over Argentina, his immediate guard.
The first match of the Brazilian team this year for the Qatar qualifiers will be Ecuador and then those led by Tite will travel to Belo Horizonte, where Canarinha will host the Paraguayan team on February 1.
– List of summoned for matches with Ecuador and Paraguay:
. Porteros: Álisson (Liverpool/ING), Éderson (Manchester City/ING), and Weberton (Palmeiras).
. Side: Dani Alves (Barcelona / ESP), Émerson Royal (Tottenham / ING), Alex Sandro (Juventus / ITA) and Alex Telles (Manchester United (ING).
. Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid/ESP), Fabinho (Liverpool/ING), Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon/FRA), Gerson (Olympique de Marsella/FRA), Fred (Manchester United/ING), Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa/ING) and Lucas Paquetá (Lyon/FRA).
. Forwards: Raphinha (Leeds / ING), Ántony (Ajax / HOL), Rodrigo (Real Madrid / ESP), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Gabriel Jesús (Manchester City / ING), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid / ESP), Matheus Cunha (Atlético de Madrid / ESP) and Gabriel Barbosa (Flamengo).