Brazilian manager Luiz Felipe Scolari was among the first of national managers to announce his final squad for the World Cup to be held at home ground in about a month’s time. He has made a few clever selections, but dropped several players to stir controversy as well. After all, FIFA limits the number of players in a squad to 23, so obviously harsh choices have to be made.
Scolari picked three goalkeepers in the squad, including possible first-choice Julio Cesar, Botafogo’s Jefferson and Atletico Mineiro’s Victor. He has opted to drop Fluminense’s Diego Cavalieri, although Cesar would most likely be the first-choice goalkeeper due to his vast experience playing at the top level.
In defence, Scolari has opted for experience over youth. His youngest defender is David Luiz, at 26. Luiz is likely to be paired up with captain Thiago Silva in defence, flanked by Marcelo and Dani Alves, both of whom are extremely offensive-minded. Their deputies will be Maxwell, Russ Henrique and Dante. Among those dropped are the young defensive prospect Marquinhos, Rafinha, Dede, Marcos Rocha, Rever and Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis.
Three Chelsea midfielders have been picked for the squad, they are Ramires, Oscar and Willian. Paulinho, Hernanes, Fernandinho and Luiz Gustavo have also been picked to provide cover in central midfield and speedy Bernard down the wing will definitely provide a threat to opponents.
Brazil’s talisman Neymar has also been included, as are his striker partners Fred, Jo and Hulk. Neymar has an incredible scoring record for Brazil, at the age of just 22, he has scored 30 goals while amassing 47 caps. Fred, too, has a decent scoring rate, scoring 16 times in 31 internationals.
Liverpool’s Phillipe Coutinho and Lucas Leiva have been surprisingly dropped despite being key men in Liverpool’s charge towards a second place position in the English Premier League this season. Coutinho has fallen behind Oscar and Willian in the pecking order and was thus dropped. Lucas was injured for the earlier half of the season and Scolari probably did not see the point of picking a sixth central or defensive midfielder.
Ronaldinho and Kaka have been denied chances to win World Cup glory this year, as they have been dropped despite their illustrious careers seeing both players win Ballon d’Ors. Lucas Moura, Alexandre Pato and Fernando have been dropped despite having their careers ahead of them. Robinho has been dropped after unconvincing form. Despite being picked for the Confederations Cup last year, Jadson and Leandro Damiao have too been dropped.