Neymar left out of Brazil squad for Argentina friendly
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Neymar and several other top Brazilian players have been left out of the national squad for friendlies next month against Argentina and Australia, coach Tite said on Friday, giving them a long summer break for the first time since 2013.
The Barcelona striker has played a major tournament every summer since the World Cup in 2014 and he, along with Liverpool's Roberto Firmino, who is suffering from a muscle strain, were left out Tite's reformed squad.
Regulars Marquinhos, Miranda, Marcelo and Dani Alves were also spared the trip Down Under.
In their place, Monaco centre back Jemerson and Corinthians midfielder Rodriguinho were called up for the first time. Shaktar striker Taison, who has played just six minutes of international football, was another surprise inclusion.
David Luiz will return in defence and Gabriel Jesus was recalled after two months out injured at Manchester City.
Brazil will play Argentina on June 9 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and face the host nation at the same venue four days later.
Goalkeepers: Diego Alves (Valencia), Weverton (Atletico-PR),
Defenders: David Luiz (Chelsea), Gil (Shandong Luneng), Jemerson (AS Monaco), Rodrigo Caio (Sao Paulo), Thiago Silva (PSG), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Fagner (Corinthians), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Rafinha (Bayern Munich)
Fernandinho (Manchester City), Giuliano (Zenit), Lucas Lima (Santos), Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Rodriguinho (Corinthians), Willian (Chelsea)
Forwards: Diego Souza (Atletico-PR), Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk)
(Reporting by Andrew Downie; editing by John Stonestreet)