Brazil's final 23-man squad for Copa America 2015
Eight-time champions Brazil will be eager to bury the ghosts of the disastrous 7-1 semi-final defeat in the World Cup against Germany with a good performance at the Copa America 2015.This would be the first major tournament for coach Dunga in his second stint. He had won the tournament back in 2007 with Brazil during his first stint as their coach.
Brazil will be without the services of Diego Alves, Marcelo, Luis Gustavo and Oscar. And now it is reported that Robinho is suffering a thigh problem. If he fails to prove his fitness then he is also likely to pull out of the tournament.
New faces include Internacional left back Geferson, midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk, Monaco right back Fabinho and Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto. Shakhtar’s Fred came into replace injured Luiz Gustavo and Neto was called in to replace injured goalkeeper Diego Alves. Geferson, who was called into replace Marcelo, was a bit of surprise as he was not part of the initial stand-by list. Lazio's attacking midfielder Felipe Anderson is kept ready in case Robinho cannot prove his fitness.
The selection of players like Everton Riberio, Diego Tardelli caused some controversy because they were playing in UAE and China which were not considered as ‘competitive leagues’ and reports suggested that selections were influenced by commercial interest.
Barcelona star Neymar is almost certain to spearhead the attack. With Robinho now doubtful, Firmino seems to be the likely candidate to partner Neymar upfront in case Dunga plays with two strikers. This would be the first major tournament for Philippe Coutinho in Brazil colours and they will rely on him, Willian and Douglas Costa to provide creativity and vision in the absence of Oscar.
Fernandinho will provide the defensive solidity, but it is uncertain who will partner him in the midfield. Fernandinho’s Man City teammate Fernando was not included in the team.
Even with all the injuries Brazil’s defence looks quite strong on paper with the likes of Thiago Silva, Miranda, David Luiz and Filipe Luis. After the World Cup semi-final debacle, this would be a good stage to redeem themselves. And it will be up to the youngsters like Marquinhos and Danilo to impress Dunga and push for a permanent place in the lineup.
Brazil are drawn alongside Peru, Colombia and Venezuela in Group C. They will begin their campaign against Peru on Sunday, June 14th.
Brazil squad for Copa America
Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Neto (Fiorentina), Marcelo Grohe (Gremio)
Defenders: David Luiz (PSG), Marquinhos (PSG), Thiago Silva (PSG), Miranda (Atletico Madrid), Danilo (Porto), Fabinho (Monaco), Geferson (Internacional), Filipe Luis (Chelsea)
Midfielders: Fernandinho (Manchester City), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk),Elias (Corinthians), Casemiro (Porto), Everton Ribeiro (Al-Alhi), Douglas Costa (Shakhtar Donetsk), Willian (Chelsea), Coutinho (Liverpool)
Forwards: Neymar (Barcelona), Diego Tardelli (Shandong Luneng), Robinho (Santos), Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim)