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Alves, 39, makes Brazil World Cup squad, Firmino left out

Dani Alves got emotional while celebrating what will be his third tournament with five-time world champions Brazil

Brazil have included 39-year-old defender Daniel Alves but left out Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino in their 26-man World Cup squad which was named by coach Tite on Monday.

Four years after having been ruled out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia due to a knee ligament injury, long-serving Alves got emotional while celebrating what will be his third tournament with five-times world champions Brazil.

“Today is day of victory and I’m very proud because four years ago my tears were due to sadness and today they are of happyness,” Alves said in a video posted in his social media.

“I can’t please everyone, but what I can do is not fail those who trust my dedication and love to this sport and to wear my country’s colours.”

After leaving Barcelona at the end of last season, Alves joined Mexican side Pumas UNAM. However, his last game for Pumas came in September in which he sustained a knee injury that has been troubling him since.

He has been working on his recovery with the Barcelona academy medical and technical staff over the last few weeks.

“We have been following his recovery from up close and all the data that we have from Barcelona doctors show that he is fit to play,” Brazil team physician Fabio Mahseredjian told a news conference in Rio de Janeiro.

Tite said Alves still had attributes to offer the team that were not just limited to his years of experience.

“He adds technical and tactical aspects that are impressive, to be an organiser, an articulator,” Tite said. “Sure, he is not a 60 to 70 metres player anymore, but he has other virtues.

“The criteria awards his technical quality, but mental and physical aspects too.”

Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli was one of nine forwards in a list dominated by 12 players from England’s Premier League.

The emergence of a new generation of attacking players like Martinelli, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Raphinha, Gabriel and Pedro resulted in Firmino, 31, failing to make the squad.

Aston Villa attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho also did not make the list after sustaining a thigh injury in training over the weekend that will sideline him for several weeks.

Brazil will take four centre backs – Juventus’ Bremer, Paris St Germain’s Marquinhos, Chelsea’s Thiago Silva and Real Madrid’s Eder Militao, while leaving out Roger Ibanez (AS Roma), Lucas Verissimo (Benfica) and Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal).

The Brazilian FA also announced that former PSG manager Ricardo Gomes will join Tite’s staff as an assistant.

The squad and Tite will gather on Nov. 14 at Juventus’ training facilities in Turin, where Brazil will hold a five-day training camp before flying to Doha on Nov. 19.

Brazil open their World Cup campaign in Qatar against Serbia on Nov. 24 and also face Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G.


Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras)

Defenders: Bremer, Alex Sandro (both Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid) Marquinhos (Paris St Germain), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Danilo (Juventus), Daniel Alves (Pumas), Alex Telles (Sevilla)

Midfielders: Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle United), Casemiro, Fred (both Manchester United), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Fabinho (Liverpool), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham United)

Forwards: Antony (Manchester United), Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli (both Arsenal), Neymar Jr (Paris St Germain), Pedro (Flamengo), Raphinha (Barcelona), Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspur), Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr (both Real Madrid)

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