Sports

Brazil unveil final 23-man squad for Russian Federation 2018

Brazil unveil final 23-man squad for Russian Federation 2018

"Coutinho can play in the middle and in the flanks, he is versatile", Tite said.

BC-SOC-WCup-Brazil Squad, 119Recovering Neymar confirmed in Brazil's World Cup squadAP Photo PDJ146, XCE106Eds: APNewsNow.

Neymar's return to form will be a key factor.

They have lined up friendlies against Croatia (3 June) and Austria (10 June) before starting their World Cup against Switzerland on 17 June.

Brazil will need him showing all the skills that made him the world's most expensive footballer, with a record 222 million euros ($264 million) transfer from Barcelona to PSG last August.

"We've been making new exams on Neymar and his evolution is really fine", he told a news conference. Tite said he needs "a pacemaker" in the team, which he has not received from Beijing Guoan's Renato Augusto.

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In Tite's 23-man squad Alves place has been comfortably covered by the presence of two men of similar abilities in Danilo of Manchester City and Fagner, whom Tite knows from his time at the helm of Corinthians' 2015 national championship-winning team.

The biggest question mark now remains around who will replace Neymar's club team-mate Dani Alves at right back after he suffered a season-ending injury during the French Cup final.

Fagner is now carrying an injury of his own but has been cleared by Lasmar to play in Russian Federation.

But knee ligament damage to the veteran defender, described by Tite on Monday as "a guy who has a huge heart and exemplary courage", has forced the manager to go back to the drawing board.

Under new manager Tite, Brazil became the first nation to qualify after running riot in the notoriously hard South American qualifiers. "We have to concentrate on preparing", Tite said.

It will be the 29-year-old's second World Cup after his participation in his nation's hosting of it back in 2014.


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