Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has announced his 23-man squad for the upcoming World Cup, featuring 16 of the players in the winning Confederations Cup squad last year.
His list contained no major surprises, although AC Milan forward Robinho (92 caps) missed the cut along with former world players of the year Ronaldinho (97 caps) and Kaka (87 caps).
Liverpool midfielders Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Leiva, Sao Paulo’s on-loan Corinthians forward Alexandre Pato and Paris St Germain winger Lucas Moura were also overlooked.
Scolari has chosen Chelsea quartet David Luiz, Ramires, Willian and Oscar, along with Manchester City’s Fernandinho and Tottenham’s Paulinho.
Scolari’s squad will instead be led by 22-year-old Barcelona striker Neymar, the player carrying most of the fans’ hopes.
“We know that not everybody will agree with all the names, it’s normal,” Scolari said.
“But now that we have the 23 players, we would like to ask that our fans support all of them so together we can focus on our goal of winning the World Cup.”
Scolari has already said that the starting goalkeeper will be Cesar, who is playing for Toronto FC in Major League Soccer.
A mix of veterans and newcomers playing for clubs across Europe, Scolari has insisted that any lack of international experience will not hinder Brazil’s performance.
“I don’t think this lack of World Cup experience will play a big part,” Scolari said.
“Our players have been gaining experience in their leagues in Europe and I don’t think they will be affected by this too much, although in certain World Cup situations, having that experience would be important.
“I fully trust these players.”
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Atletico Mineiro).
Defenders: David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Henrique (Napoli), Maicon (Roma), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Maxwell (Paris Saint-Germain).
Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Paulinho (Tottenham), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Ramires (Chelsea), Oscar (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea), Hernanes (Inter Milan).
Strikers: Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Neymar (Barcelona), Jo (Atletico Mineiro), Fred (Fluminense).