Host Brazil announces World Cup roster; Neymar headlines squad, Kaka left out
Brazil, following its 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup triumph, has emerged as the favorite to capture the World Cup on its home soil this July, and Luiz Felipe Scolari has selected the 23 men who he believes can get the job done.
Scolari announced his World Cup roster on Wednesday, even though has until June 2 to make any last-minute changes. He had already confirmed nine players in late April, including Neymar and Toronto FC goalkeeper Julio Cesar. Among those who did not make the cut are Kaka and Ronaldinho, with the former thought to have had the better shot of the two former FIFA World Players of the Year.
Other notable omissions include Liverpool's Coutinho and Lucas, AC Milan's Robinho, Sao Paulo's Alexandre Pato, Atletico Madrid's Filipe Luis and PSG's Lucas Moura.
Here is Brazil's World Cup roster in full:
GOALKEEPERS: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Atlético Mineiro)
DEFENDERS: Dani Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (Roma), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Maxwell (PSG), Thiago Silva (PSG), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Henrique (Napoli)
MIDFIELDERS: Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Hernanes (Inter Milan), Paulinho (Tottenham), Ramires (Chelsea), Oscar (Chelsea), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Willian (Chelsea)
FORWARDS: Hulk (Zenit), Neymar (Barcelona), Fred (Fluminense), Jô (Atlético Mineiro), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk) Brazil opens the World Cup on June 12 against Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo. The Selecao will also face Mexico and Cameroon in the group stage.