Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Brazil overlook Miranda, Coutinho for World Cup

SoccerNews in World Cup 7 May 2014

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Luis Felipe Scolari has left Miranda, Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Moura and Robinho out of his Brazil squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

There has been speculation Miranda, who has been in outstanding form for Atletico Madrid, would receive his first international call-up in over a year, but Scolari opted to name Napoli’s Henrique as his fourth centre-back.

“He’s a player I have a lot of trust in,” Scolari said of Henrique.

Fellow defenders Dede, Filipe Luis, Marquinhos, Rafinha and Rever were left disappointed, as was Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva.

The latter’s Anfield team-mate Coutinho has been in superb for this season, but Scolari elected to include just two attacking midfielders in Chelsea pair Oscar and Willian.

The 65-year-old called Rafinha and Fernandinho up for the first time for Brazil’s most recent friendly – the 5-0 win in South Africa in March – but while the Manchester City midfielder retained his place, Inter veteran Maicon was preferred to the Bayern Munich man.

Scolari, who included first-team regulars Dani Alves, Marcelo, Hulk and Neymar, lamented a lack of competitive football in the build-up to the World Cup when discussing his squad.

“If I’d had the choice, I would have played in World Cup qualifying,” he said.

“It’s important practice. We had the Confederations Cup, which was a good experience, but it was only a few games.”

The hosts are favourites to progress from Group A, which also contains Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon.

Scolari’s men open the tournament against Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Gremio)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (Inter), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Maxwell (Paris Saint-Germain), David Luiz (Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Dante (Bayern Munich), Henrique (Napoli)

Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Paulinho (Tottenham), Ramires (Chelsea), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Oscar (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea), Hernanes (Inter), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Forwards: Fred (Fluminense), Neymar (Barcelona), Hulk (Zenit), Jo (Atletico Mineiro)

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