Brazil’s 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup has been confirmed, with Liverpool’s Robert Firmino out but Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli making the cut.
Firmino was included in Brazil’s last squad for September’s international friendlies against Ghana and Tunisia but did not feature from the bench and has not played for his county since last year’s Copa America.
Martinelli, who has scored five goals to help Mikel Arteta’s side top the Premier League, is included in Tite’s selection alongside Gabriel Jesus, but fellow Arsenal team-mate Gabriel Magalhaes misses out.
Por vocês!!! Obrigado, meu Deus!! Obrigado todo mundo… amigos, familia, mãe, pai, irmaos!! Amo vocês!!! Emoção demais!! 🇧🇷🇶🇦 @CBF_Futebol pic.twitter.com/Da6aJkkoDx
— Antony Santos (@antony00) November 7, 2022
Manchester United’s Antony — who posted a video on social media of the moment he discovered he had been included — and Tottenham forward Richarlison, who has scored 17 goals from 24 starts for his country, are also named in a squad headed by Neymar.
Brazil are the most successful team in the history of the World Cup and head to Qatar as tournament favorites and FIFA’s top-ranked side.
They did not lose a game in CONMEBOL qualifying but have only progressed beyond the quarter-final stage once since winning Japan 2002.
Tite, who will step down after the tournament, will oversee a Group G opener against Serbia on November 24, before his side face Switzerland on November 28 and Cameroon on December 2.
James Horncastle’s analysis
Tite has signed off his 26-man squad for the World Cup at the CBF headquarters in Rio. The 61-year-old claimed to be sure of 20 players but needed the September internationals and a couple of scouting trips to England and Italy over the past fortnight to help make his mind up on the rest.
Legendary full-back Dani Alves, now playing for Pumas in Mexico, made the cut despite being nearly 40. At center-back Tite chose Serie A defender of the year Gleison Bremer to compete with Marquinhos, Thiago Silva and Eder Militao. He is one of three Juventus players in the squad who will feel at home when Brazil meet up at a pre-tournament training camp at the club’s Continassa training ground in Turin next week.
Bremer got the nod over Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhaes for the final center-back spot. The other Gabriels on Mikel Arteta’s team will be on the plane to Italy. Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli’s absence from the final warm-up games against Ghana and Tunisia in September caused conternation at the time but both will be in Qatar.
Martinelli is the principal benefactor of Philippe Coutinho’s injury at Aston Villa and deserved to be in the 26 on merit. He will be one of the exciting wide options for the Selecao along with Antony, Raphinha, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.
Up front, Richarlison is expected to lead the line for Brazil with Pedro of Flamengo the designated alternative. The Copa Libertadores top scorer took his chance in the final warm-up game against Tunisia and will fly to Turin at the expense of his teammate Gabigol and Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.
Brazil’s World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Weverton
Defenders: Danilo, Dani Alves, Alex Sandro, Alex Telles, T Silva, Marquinhos, Eder Militao, Bremer
Midfielders: Casemiro, Fabinho, Bruno Guimaraes, Fred, Paqueta, Everton Ribeiro
Forwards: Neymar, Vinicius Jr, Gabriel Jesus, Antony, Raphinha, Richarlison, Martinelli, Rodrygo, Pedro
(Photo: Getty Images)