Brazil squad for Copa America announced: Lucas Moura, Fabinho and Marcelo miss out
What's the story?
Brazil manager Tite has announced his 23-man team for June's Copa America, with Champions League finalists-Tottenham Hotspur's Lucas Moura and Liverpool's Fabinho being the surprise exclusions, along with Real Madrid duo Vinicius Junior and Marcelo.
The premier Latin American continental tournament is set to kick off in Brazil on 14th June and will include all 14 South American nations along with invitees Qatar and Japan.
In case you didn't know...
Brazil are yet to win a major international trophy since their 2016 Olympic Gold medal, with the Selecao faltering in the quarterfinals against Belgium in the 2018 World Cup. The 5-time world champions and most decorated international team in the history of the game has won only 8 Copa Americas, as compared to Uruguay's 15 and Argentina's 14 title wins.
They last won the tournament way back in 2007 when a Ronaldo and Ronaldinho inspired side crushed Argentina 3-0 in the final. Chile are the defending champions, after they won back to back titles in the 2015 Copa America and the 2016 Copa America Centenario.
The heart of the matter
Tite has opted for a tried and trusted set of players, refusing to call up in-form players like Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League hero Lucas Moura and Liverpool's midfield lynchpin Fabinho, as they have not had many minutes under the FIFA Club World Cup-winning coach's tutelage in Selecao colours.
Real Madrid left back Marcelo's dip in form has seen him dropped with Juventus' Alex Sandro called up instead. Real Madrid's pacy winger Vinicius Junior, who missed playing under Tite despite being called up to Brazil's last round of friendlies due to injury, was omitted in favour of Gremio winger and reported AC Milan target, Everton.
Juventus winger Douglas Costa was also omitted with his season hampered with injuries. Star man and captain Neymar has returned to the squad after sitting our Brazil's last two rounds of friendlies due to a foot injury.
Goalkeeper: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Cassio (Corinthians)
Defenders: Thiago Silva (PSG), Marquinhos (PSG), Miranda (Inter Milan), Eder Militao (FC Porto), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Dani Alves (PSG), Fagner (Corinthians)
Midfielders: Fernandinho (Manchester City), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan), Allan (Napoli), Arthur (Barcelona), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona)
Forwards: Neymar Jr (PSG), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Richarlison (Everton), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), David Neres (Ajax Amsterdam), Everton (Gremio)
Brazil will face Qatar and Honduras on June 5 and 9th respectively, both games being preparatory friendlies for the Copa. The Selecao are drawn in Group A along with Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru.
Their first match is against Bolivia on 14th June, which will also be the first match of the tournament.