Dani Alves in, Roberto Firmino out
Brazil will take 39-year-old defender Dani Alves to the World Cup in Qatar but leave behind Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino as head coach Tite named his 26-man squad for the tournament on Monday.
Alves will be hoping to use his experience as football’s most decorated player with 44 career trophies to help five-time champions Brazil to their first World Cup title since 2002.
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The defender has made 12 appearances for Pumas after joining the Mexican outfit in July following the expiration of his contract at Barcelona.
However, there is no space for Firmino, who has enjoyed a resurgence at Liverpool this season with six goals in 12 Premier League games. He was last called up by Tite in September, but misses out in favour Arsenal duo Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli.
Real Madrid‘s Vinicius Jr. is also included alongside Paris Saint-Germain‘s Neymar, who has 75 goals in 121 appearances for Brazil and is two strikes away from equalling the country’s all-time top scorer Pele.
Tottenham forward Richarlison and West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta have also been selected after recovering from a calf and shoulder injuries, respectively. Manchester United‘s Antony also featured.
The moment Antony found out he was going to the World Cup with Brazil ❤️🇧🇷
(via @antony00) pic.twitter.com/iZ7zN1B2Kh
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 7, 2022
When asked about the negative reaction on social media to Alves’ selection, Tite told a news conference: “He is one of the captains of the team.
“I didn’t come here to please people on Twitter, which I don’t even know what percentage of the Brazilian people they represent. I respect differing opinions and I’m not here to convince everyone.”
They are two of the 12 Premier League-based players included on the roster while only three players on the list are on the books of Brazilian clubs.
As expected, Aston Villa‘s Philippe Coutinho has been left out after sustaining a muscular injury in training last week.
The Brazil boss will be taking only four centre-backs, with Juventus‘ Bremer behind Marquinhos, Thiago Silva and Eder Militao, while leaving out Roma’s Ibanez and Arsenal’s Gabriel.
Tite, 61, has already said he will step down after the World Cup. The Brazilian FA announce on Monday that former PSG manager Ricardo Gomes will join Tite’s staff as an assistant.
The squad and Tite will gather on Nov. 14 at Juventus’ training facilities in Turin, where Brazil will hold a five-day training camp before flying to Doha on Nov. 19.
“We are focused on doing the best job possible,” Tite said when asked if Brazil are favourites to win the World Cup.
“After four years of work, there is much more consistency. Three or four teams are always placed at the highest level. People assume that Brazil is one of the favourites, and my opinion is that it is, we are one of them.”
Brazil will open their World Cup campaign against Serbia on Nov. 24 and also face Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G.
Brazil’s 26-man Qatar World Cup squad:
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras).
Defenders: Bremer (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid) Marquinhos (PSG), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Danilo (Juventus), Daniel Alves (Pumas), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Alex Telles (Sevilla).
Midfielders: Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle), Casemiro (Manchester United), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fred (Manchester United), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham).
Forwards: Antony (Manchester United), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Neymar Jr (Paris Saint-Germain), Pedro (Flamengo), Raphinha (Barcelona), Richarlison (Tottenham), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
Information from Reuters included in this report.