Confederations Cup Squad

Yesterday, Scolari officially announced the 23 man squad he will use in this summer’s Confederation Cup. The squad featured many players that have been on team in the past and a few newcomers, mostly from the domestic league clubs. Like always, Scolari was criticized for some of the players he snubbed from the squad. Here is a breakdown of the squad:

Goalkeepers:

Julio Cesar (QPR)

Diego Cavalieri (Fluminense)

Jefferson (Botafogo)

These three goalkeepers have all been in the squad before so this is no surprise. Julio Cesar has had a great season even though his club, QPR, has been relegated from the English premier league and will most likely be the starter for Brazil in the tournament. It is thought if Julio Cesar wants to keep his spot in the squad, he must leave the club for another top league club in either Europe or Brazil. One player that has an argument for having made the squad is Valencia’s Diego Alves who is another great goalkeeper who has experience with the national team. After Julio Cesar, the rest of the keepers are pretty even so Scolari probably just picked the players he was most comfortable with.

 

Defenders:

Daniel Alves (Barcelona)

Jean (Fluminense)

Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Filipe Luis (Atlético Madrid)

Thiago Silva (PSG)

Réver (Atlético-MG)

David Luiz (Chelsea)

Dante (Bayern Munich)

Many of Scolari’s selections were much expected with the exception of Jean and Rever. Jean, who usually is used as a midfielder, has yet to prove himself in an international setting and seems more like a project. Rever has played well in Brazil this year at center back but in my opinion there are better options at his position. Two player’s I would have rather seen in the defense are Cruzeiro’s Dede and Manchester United’s Rafael. Dede has shown that he has what it takes to be solid center back and a possible starter in the future and is a much more athletic option compared to Rever. Rafael would make as a better addition than Jean because there is only one right back on the roster. While Dani Alves is a world class player, there really isn’t an option at right back if he were to get injured. In terms of who will start in the competition, it should be Marcelo at left back, Thiago Silva and David Luiz at center back and Dani Alves at the right back position. David Luiz has been utilized very well in the defensive midfielder position this year for Chelsea and if he were to be moved to the midfield then I think Dante would be given the start at center back.

Midfielders:

Fernando (Grêmio),

Hernanes (Lazio)

Luiz Gustavo (Bayern Munich)

Paulinho (Corinthians)

Jadson (São Paulo)

Oscar (Chelsea)

Lucas Moura (PSG)

Three veteran players were left off the squad in a surprising move by Scolari. Many believed that at least one of the former FIFA Player of the Year would make the team between Ronaldinho and Kaka, but neither made the final squad. Ramires was another surprise omission from the team even if his form has been down this season. In my opinion, of the three players left out, Kaka gives Brazil the best chance to win. In his recent appearances, he has excelled at a central attacking midfielder position both setting up goals and scoring. The only problem is that Oscar has played even better at the position and it seems like this is the reason why Kaka will be omitted. Ronaldinho has tried to return some flare to the Selecao, but his flashy passes have often been forced and have ruined the flow of Brazil’s attack.  Jadson to me is the surprise selection as he has yet to prove himself internationally, but we will see what Scolari sees in him in this tournament. It is a bit of a surprise that three defensive midfielders were selected as Paulinho, Luiz Gustavo and Fernando who all play the position. There will not be many attack options in the midfield off the bench with makes the omissions of Kaka and Ronaldinho even more surprising. My prediction for who is to start is the group of Paulinho, Hernanes, and Oscar. Lucas Moura should be the first player to come off the bench if Scolari only uses three midfielders, but will most likely get the start next to Oscar if he chooses to uses four.

Forwards:

Hulk (Zenit)

Bernard (Atlético-MG)

Leandro Damião (Internacional)

Fred (Fluminense)

Neymar (Santos)

The forwards feature the big names in Brazilian soccer. Bernard is a young, up-and-coming star for Atletico MG who Scolari may want to gain some training experience before the World Cup. Alexandre Pato is a big exclusion from the squad. When Pato is healthy he gives Brazil the best scoring option at striker because of the combination of his speed and finishing. Damiao and Fred will be the two players up top for Brazil. This tournament will have a huge impact on who will be selected to play the position in a year. The position is the most uncertain for Brazil as no one player has been able to produce consistently. Currently Fred, hold the upper hand to land the starting job. On the flanks, expect both Neymar and Hulk to start alongside Fred. There is an immense amount of pressure for Brazil’s attack to produce at this tournament as there is a lot of doubt building in the home country. These players will have a lot of pressure heading into the World Cup next year. Hopefully, after the the Confederations Cup there will be a better understanding of who will be in the World Cup squad.

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