Neymar, Gabriel Jesus lead Brazil's World Cup qualifying squad vs. Argentina
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil not only faces Argentina in World Cup qualifying next month but also the ghost of the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinals, coach Tite said on Friday.
Brazil plays Lionel Messi's side in the same Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte on Nov. 10. Five days later, Brazil is in Peru.
"The psychological work has been perfectly placed. We have to see that two years have passed. That time has brought us maturity," Tite said at his squad announcement. "It is the same stadium, but we have to know that this is a different moment."
There were few changes to the squad, which features the return of Bayern Munich winger Douglas Costa and Real Madrid defender Marcelo after injuries, and the absence of Chelsea midfielder Oscar.
Tite started out with convincing victories against Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Venezuela, which lifted Brazil from sixth position in South American qualifying to first. But his dream of coaching the five-time world champion will seem more real, he said, when they meet fifth-place Argentina and Messi.
"I am living a dream that every Brazilian coach has. To be in a Brazil v Argentina is a great honor," he said. "To face Messi and all his virtues is such a challenge."
Here is Brazil's squad in full:
GOALKEEPERS: Alisson (Roma), Weverton (Atletico Paranaense), Alex Muralha (Flamengo)
DEFENDERS: Dani Alves (Juventus), Fagner (Corinthians), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Miranda (Inter Milan), Gil (Shandong Luneng), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Rodrigo Caio (Sao Paulo)
MIDFIELDERS: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Giuliano (Zenit St. Petersburg), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Lucas Lima (Santos), Willian (Chelsea)
FORWARDS: Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich), Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras), Neymar (Barcelona), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)