On May 7th coach Luiz Scolari chose the World Cup Brazil team that is going to play the World Cup on home soil! I think this was very tough for him to do, since Brazil has so many good players! Scolari could easily create multiple teams with the high amount of excellent Brazilian players available. Let’s take a look at the World Cup Brazil team.
World Cup Brazil Team: Goalkeepers
If we look at the goalkeepers, we can all understand that Júlio César will be the number one goalkeeper. He has the most experience in the national team and I think this will be his last World Cup (he is already 34). Jefferson and Victor are good backup goalkeepers for Brazil who are both playing in the Brazilian competition.
World Cup Brazil Team: Defenders
What about the defenders? Well, on the right back position there is going to be Dani Alves if you ask me. Alves is still one of the best right back players in the world! Maicon will be his possible replacement. Scolari can be very happy because both players have the same style of playing, so in case Alves needs to be substituted, he can trust Maicon to take over! On the left back position it is Marcelo who will play. Marcelo played a really good season with Real Madrid and I think he will take his outstanding form with him to Brazil. The backup behind him will be Maxwell. He’s a player who earned his stripes and has also a lot of experience. He became champion with his club PSG in France. In the centre you have captain Thiago Silva and David Luiz. These 2 players will make it very hard for every striker to come close to the goal! With Dante from Bayern Munich and Henrique from Napoli as subs, the defense is completed and solid. I am really surprised about Henrique though, maybe I would have chosen for a younger defender. The youngest player in the defense is currently Marcelo. Scolari could have chosen for Marquinhos who plays at PSG. He’s a really big talent for the national team as well (and still 19 years old).
World Cup Brazil Team: Midfielders
Scolari chose 8 midfielders in his World Cup Brazil team and a lot of people didn’t expect for some of these players to be included. For me there where surprises in the squad. Like where is Kaka or Ronaldinho? I know both players are more advanced in the ageing process, but still, they play and show their skills at their current clubs. So who is going to play in the midfield then? I think Scolari will put Oscar in his first XI. He is a young player with enough skills to score goals but also to give assists. If you ask me, Oscar will replace Kaka and will take over his role. Luiz Gustavo has played the last 3 international games (against South-Africa he started on the bench) and will probably be the next player in the XI. Now that Lucas (from Liverpool, not to be confused with Lucas Moura) has not been included, it will be Fernandinho who will play in the midfield. Fernandinho had a great season with Manchester City and became the champions of the Premier League. For both Oscar and Luiz Gustavo, it will be their first World Cup that they will be playing in Brazil.
Another midfielder who is very confident is Paulinho. After the win on Italy on 22nd of June 2013 in the Confederations Cup, Paulinho played every match for Brazil! It really depends on how Scolari is going to play with the World Cup Brazil team. The last couple of matches he played in a 4-4-2 formation, but he also introduced a 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 format. It is possible Scolari will play 4-4-2 where the left midfielder will be more of a winger close to the strikers. The 2nd striker will then move more to the right. Then there is also the 4-3-3 formation again where the 2nd striker plays in a winger position as well. Bernard could play in that role on the left side of the midfield. He just moved at the beginning of this season to Ukraine. He is still very young and has a lot of talent! Another player who could play on this position would be Neymar. Although he is more of a winger / striker, he played on this position before in the national team. Still, I think Neymar will be better in the striker 4-4-2 role or winger role in the 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 format. The other midfielders are Ramires, Willian (Both Chelsea) and Hernanes (Internazionale). These 3 fine players will start on the bench and will be needed in case players get injured or suspended.
World Cup Brazil Team: Forwards
For the strikers position the following 4 players are selected: Neymar, Hulk, Fred and Jô. Of the 4 players, Neymar played most of the matches and scored the most goals. He had a good first season in Spain and is obviously the big star of this country now! With the age of 22, Neymar already showed us a lot of skills. He became the South American Footballer of the Year (with the age of 19 and 20) 2 times in a row, and was the best player of the 2013 Confederations Cup! It is hard to say who is going to play next to him or if he is going to play as a striker, since Scolari changes the striker’s position very often. I think a combination of Neymar and Fred would be a good way to start. Fred is a striker who scores anywhere. For every club he played he scored enough goals. He returned to Brazil after having played in Europe for Lyon in 2009. After his return to Brazil he was selected more often for the national team of Brazil.
Next to these 2 fantastic players we got Hulk (Zenith Saint Petersburg) and Jô (Atletico Mineiro). Hulk is a really strong player who can play as a striker and winger. Brazil 2014 will be his first World Cup. Hulk was also a member of the team that won the 2013 Confederations Cup. A lot of people compare him with the Incredible Hulk because of his muscular posture. Jô is also a player who left Europe to return to Brazil. He wasn’t that successful and tried his luck first in Internacional and a season later in Atlético Mineiro. In Brazil the good old Jô as we knew came back, and got selected more often for the national team.
If I look at this team, it is obvious they are a great contestant for Brazil’s 6th World Cup title! Of course they also have the advantage of playing in their country; this means much is expected from them!