Brazil name nine forwards in attack-minded World Cup squad

Anyone hoping there was some way Brazil might put out a lacklustre team for the World Cup in Qatar this month will be sorely disappointed by the announcement of the squad on Monday.

Head Coach Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, known as Tite, has named no fewer than nine forwards in his 26-man squad, highlighting not only his breadth of options up front, but also giving an indication as to the sort of high-pressing, attacking strategy we can expect to see from the World Cup’s most successful team at this year’s tournament in Qatar.

“We’re one of the favourites,” Tite told reporters in Rio on Monday.

Neymar, a veteran of the Brazil team despite being only 30, finds himself at the tip of Brazil’s attack, with the support of youngsters such as Vinicius Jr, Gabriel Martinelli and Rodrygo.

Dani Alves, the 39-year-old former Barcelona right back, was also included in the list, which features eight defenders and six midfielders, despite not playing a competitive match in two months.

Alves will be the oldest player ever named in a Brazilian World Cup squad, but his long history with the national side and changing room leadership were not the main reasons he got a spot in the squad, Tite said.

“He adds technical and tactical aspects that are impressive, to be an organiser, an articulator,” the coach said.

Disappointment

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has been left out of the squad. Aston Villa attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho will also be bitterly disappointed after a thigh injury in weekend training will see him sidelined for several weeks.

Brazil will take four centre backs – Juventus’s Bremer, Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos, Chelsea’s Thiago Silva and Real Madrid’s Eder Militao, while leaving out Roger Ibanez of Roma, Lucas Verissimo of Benfica and Gabriel Magalhaes, whose goal at the weekend put Arsenal back at the top of the English Premier League.

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