Brazil’s squad for the 2022 World Cup has been announced – and the big news is that Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino is not in the squad.
Brazil haven’t faced a European opponent since a March 2019 friendly against the Czech Republic. The last time they went this long without meeting a European rival was before the 1954 World Cup.
The anomaly raised questions at nearly every press conference and, for a time, served to downplay the team’s record qualifying form. The Selecao have won 14 of 17 games (the clash against Argentina which was scrapped for COVID-19-related shenanigans was eventually called off), racking up 40 goals and conceding just five.
But such is the excitement around Brazil now, the mood has changed dramatically. Essentially, the oddity of the fixture list is Europe losing. They have no idea what awaits them.
For most of the road to the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Brazil looked like a no-nonsense side that lacked their traditional flair and charisma and relied too heavily on Neymar’s eight-goal virtuosity. That changed around mid-2021 with the rise of players manager Tite calls “perninhas rapidas(quick little legs). Raphinha, Antony, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Gabriel Martinelli have brought a slippery new dynamic to the Selecao, transforming it into a team that – perhaps for the first time since 2006 – fans truly believe they can win the World Cup.
Add to that a backline formed by Alisson (with Ederson a luxury reserve), Thiago Silva and Marquinhos that has been nearly impregnable over the past four years, and suddenly the hype seems more than justifiable.
Brazil are much better prepared this year. In June 2016, Tite took charge of a side halfway through qualifying which nearly didn’t make it to Russia 2018 at all, then struggled after injuries to Neymar, Dani Alves and Renato Augusto. Things are different now. With more tactical options, the five-time world champions have even looked like Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, with full-backs moving into central midfield when in possession.
To win a first World Cup since 2002, Brazil will be hoping to benefit from the familiarity brought by a good sip of the team plying their trade in the Premier League together. Otherwise, they’ll match their longest drought ever (1970 to 1994) by going at least 24 years between trophies – and that’s not worth thinking about.
Brazil squad for the 2022 World Cup
Brazil squad for the 2022 World Cup: The final 26-man squad
- GK: Alisson Becker (Liverpool)
- GK: Ederson (Manchester City)
- GK: Weverton (Palmeiras)
- Defender: Dani Alves (UNAM)
- Defender: Thiago Silva (Chelsea)
- Defender: Marquinhos (PSG)
- Defender: Danilo (Juventus)
- Defender: Alex Telles (Sevilla)
- Defender: Alex Sandro (Juventus)
- Defender: Eder Militao (Real Madrid)
- Defender: Bremer (Juventus)
- Midfielder: Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle)
- MF: Casemiro (Manchester United)
- Midfielder: Lucas Paqueta (Lyon)
- Midfielder: Fabinho (Liverpool)
- MF: Fred (Manchester United)
- Central midfielder: Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo)
- AT: Neymar (PSG)
- AT: Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)
- AT: Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
- AT: Antony (Manchester United)
- AT: Richarlison (Tottenham)
- AT: Raphinha (Barcelona)
- AT: Rodrygo (Real Madrid)
- AT: Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)
- AT: Pedro (Flamengo)
Brazil top scorers
2 goals – Richarlison
Brazil yellow cards
No Brazilian player received a yellow card during the 2022 World Cup.
Who is Brazil’s coach for the 2022 World Cup?
A charismatic figure who sometimes resembles a priest in the way he dresses and speaks, Tite has already announced that he will leave his post after the World Cup. He transformed the team after the 7-1 Gotterdammerung in 2014 and their exit from the Copa America group stage two years later. He will be a difficult man to replace.
Brazil’s star player
Who is Brazil’s best player?
Neymar is just two goals away from equaling Pele’s record as Brazil’s all-time top scorer. If that’s not enough, the PSG superstar has already hinted that this could be his last World Cup. Now 30, more mature and blessed with a talented supporting cast, No. 10 must lead his team and leave the theatrical comedy behind.
How many players will Brazil bring to the 2022 World Cup?
National managers were allowed to bring 26 players to last summer’s European Championship for the first time at a major tournament, as a special measure introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic – while the Last year’s Copa America allowed teams of 28 players.
It has now been announced that 26-man squads will return for the Qatar World Cup, an extension of the usual 23-man squads.