Brazil manager Tite names Neymar, other Olympic stars to his first roster
Just two days after watching Brazil's Olympic squad–led by Neymar–capture the nation's first men's soccer gold medal, new senior national team manager Tite has named his first roster, turning to a number of those Olympic heroes.
Neymar, Gabriel Barbosa, Gabriel Jesus, Weverton, Marquinhos, Renato Augusto and Rodrigo Caio will bring their Olympic success to the full national team for key World Cup qualifying matches against Ecuador and Colombia in early September. Brazil sits in sixth place in CONMEBOL's table through six games of the 18-match round. The top four teams automatically qualify for Russia 2018, while the fifth-place team goes into an intercontinental playoff against the Oceania champion.
Neymar's free kick in regulation and penalty kick in the shootout guided Brazil to a memorable gold, while Weverton's save on Germany's fifth spot kick proved pivotal.
Tite, who replaced Dunga after Brazil's failure to get out of the group stage at Copa America, has omitted the likes of regulars Hulk and David Luiz, while Thiago Silva is battling a hip injury. He has called on Premier League stars Philippe Coutinho and Willian in addition to bringing Real Madrid fullback Marcelo back into the fold.
Tite has not yet named a captain for the senior squad. Neymar, in the aftermath of the Olympic triumph, said he would stand down as captain and let Tite choose somebody else for the job.
Here is the full Brazil roster for the Sept. 1 match vs. Ecuador in Quito and the Sept. 6 match against Colombia in Manaus:
GOALKEEPERS: Alisson (Roma), Marcelo Grohe (Grêmio), Weverton (Atlético Paranaense)
DEFENDERS: Dani Alves (Juventus), Fagner (Corinthians), Filipe Luis (Atlético Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Gil (Shandong Luneng), Marquinhos (PSG), Miranda (Inter Milan), Rodrigo Caio (São Paulo)
MIDFIELDERS: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Giuliano (Zenit), Rafael Carioca (Atlético Mineiro), Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande), Lucas Lima (Santos), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Willian (Chelsea)
FORWARDS: Neymar (Barcelona), Gabriel Barbosa (Santos), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk)