Rio de Janeiro, May 15 (IANS): Danilo and Fagner were selected to replace injured right-back Dani Alves as Brazil coach Tite announced his 23-man football squad for the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
As expected, forward Neymar was included as he completes the final stage of his recovery from a foot injury while Shakhtar Donetsk pair Fred and Taison were among few surprises, reports Xinhua news agency.
Alves was ruled out of the June 14-July 15 tournament last week after suffering a right anterior cruciate ligament injury in Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-0 French Cup final victory over Les Herbiers.
Manchester City’s Danilo, who didn’t play a single minute in Brazil’s 18-match World Cup qualifying campaign, and Fagner, who is recovering from a thigh injury, were chosen ahead of Bayern Munich’s Rafinha for the right-back role.
“Dani is a great player and leader and we are going to miss him, but we have other options,” Tite said.
The 56-year-old admitted that some of the players chosen — such as Fagner and Taison — were favoured by having played under him at club level.
“I think it had an impact but I also know how to evaluate other points – whether they are technical, physical, emotional or tactical — to make a fair judgement,” he said. “And sometimes it goes beyond numbers, it has to do with feeling…”
Brazil will begin their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on June 17 and will also meet Costa Rica and Serbia in the group stage.
The former Corinthians tactician revealed he is yet to decide who will start in central defence, with one of Thiago Silva, Miranda and Marquinhos expected to be relegated to the bench.
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Cassio (Corinthians), Ederson (Manchester City)
Defenders: Danilo (Manchester City), Geromel (Gremio), Filipe Luis (Atletico Mineiro) Marcelo (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (PSG), Miranda (Internazionale), Fagner (Corinthians), Thiago Silva (PSG).
Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk), Paulinho (Barcelona), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Willian (Chelsea)
Forwards: Douglas Costa (Juventus), Firmino (Liverpool), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Neymar (Barcelona), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk).Icardi,