No flim-flam and no messing round: why trouble naming a pre-list of 35 in case you are able to go straight to the ultimate squad of 23? That’s the Brazil approach. Twenty years in the past, on the day the France ’98 squad was introduced, then-coach Mario Zagallo went additional; he even introduced his beginning XI to tackle Scotland within the opening sport of the World Cup.
Present boss Tite did not go that far on Monday afternoon when he introduced his squad for Russia. However after the outcomes his staff have accrued, and the style through which they’ve been achieved, he might be forgiven a swagger in his stride as he named his chosen 23 gamers with a lot time to spare.
There was little room for surprises, both. How may there be? Tite inherited a facet in sixth place, exterior the qualification slots, after a 3rd of the marketing campaign. Ten wins and two attracts later, with 30 targets scored and three conceded, Brazil hadn’t simply cruised their option to Russia — that they had established themselves among the many event favourites and recaptured a major quantity of the vanity spilled on the Belo Horizonte pitch in that extraordinary 7-1 semifinal defeat to Germany 4 years in the past.
The gamers that achieved these outcomes may hardly be neglected. Certainly, the overwhelming majority of the squad awoke on Monday morning with their locations already publicly assured, however that doesn’t imply that Tite wished every thing carved in stone. Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari certainly went too far in that path earlier than the final World Cup and Tite has his personal experiences as membership coach. After successful the home, South American and Membership World titles with Corinthians in 2011-12, he admits that he made a mistake by not shaking up the staff with some new signings. In spite of everything, progress calls for a relentless dynamic.
So would there be a spot for a goal man centre-forward, a giant determine to assist with the aerial assault if Brazil are chasing the sport within the last minutes? Tite has flirted with this kind of participant, however ultimately resisted the temptation to name up Willian Jose, who was within the squad for the latest friendlies however did not get an opportunity to play. Taison, a striker sufficiently versatile to play by way of the center or up entrance, was most popular.
The complete-back positions additionally got here underneath the microscope. Tite admitted that one in every of his hardest selections was to depart out Alex Sandro as a back-up to Marcelo at left-back. Filipe Luis of Atletico Madrid acquired the nod as soon as he satisfied the teaching workers of his restoration from a latest damage, which may effectively have been the information Tite was ready for till half-an-hour earlier than the call-up in an effort to full the listing. However that information may even have been about Fagner, one of many candidates to exchange the injured Dani Alves at right-back.
The lack of Alves is a critical blow as Brazil appear to lack a alternative of comparable high quality. Certainly, there was loads of hypothesis over who would fill the reserve right-back slot, a quandary that is taken on way more significance since Alves picked up his knee damage.
There have been three candidates for the 2 right-back slots. Rafinha of Bayern Munich missed out. Danilo of Manchester Metropolis goes into the pre-tournament camp with a slight benefit over Fagner of Corinthians, not least as a result of the latter is presently recovering from an damage of his personal.
In a squad dominated by Europe-based gamers — 19 make their residing in England, Spain, Italy, France and Ukraine — Fagner is one in every of simply three who stay in Brazilian soccer. The others are third-choice keeper Cassio, who’s unlikely to play, and Pedro Geromel of Gremio, who claimed the final centre-back slot.
In the end, it is a very fashionable determination. The native market love seeing domestically primarily based gamers and the native media are at all times pushing for his or her inclusion. That stated, Geromel begins out effectively behind the trio of Marquinhos, Thiago Silva and Miranda: Tite makes it clear that he has “a good headache” attempting to choose two from these three. The sturdy risk, then, is that the beginning line-up can be solely composed of Europe-based gamers although midfielder Renato Augusto, who performs in China, will attempt exhausting to win again the place that was his till the previous few months.
From a tactical viewpoint, there may be a lot that’s up to date and European concerning the present Brazil facet. Tite has performed an in-depth examine of top-class European soccer and the principle concept he is delivered to Brazil is that of the staff performing in a compact method each to make sure defensive solidity and to have gamers shut sufficient for a passing sport.
It was this concept — being compact with the ball as a reference — that Tite was anxious to emphasize in is press convention. And the mix of Brazilian skill with fashionable tactical ideas has Brazil constructing confidently of their quest to convey the World Cup trophy again from Russia.
Brazil squad for 2018 World Cup
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Manchester Metropolis), Cassio (Corinthians)
Defenders: Miranda (Inter Milan), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Geromel (Gremio), Marcelo (Actual Madrid), Fagner (Corinthians), Danilo (Manchester Metropolis), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Casemiro (Actual Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester Metropolis), Paulinho (Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Willian (Chelsea), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Forwards: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester Metropolis), Firmino (Liverpool), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk), Douglas Costa (Juventus)
Tim Vickery covers South American soccer for ESPN FC. Observe him on Twitter @Tim_Vickery.