Liverpool‘s Philippe Coutinho has been called up by Brazil for their coming international friendlies.
The Liverpool player has been named in new coach Dunga’s 22-man squad for the matches with Colombia in Miami on September 5 and Ecuador in New Jersey on September 9.
Coutinho so far has one cap for his country, which he earned in a friendly against Iran in October 2010.
The player was left out of Scolari’s World Cup squad and many had questioned the then Brazil coach’s decision. While at the time, the decision made sense, in retrospect, especially after Neymar got injured, many thought that the hosts would have done better with the Liverpool player within their ranks.
Coutinho was obviously disappointed at his exclusion and Brendan Rodgers and the player had recently made statements regarding this. Both of them insisted that he would be channelizing his anger and woe at being left out of the World Cup squad in the right manner- by putting on good, consistent performances for the Reds in the coming season. With Luis Suarez’s departure, the Kop faithful view their number 10 as the player who would fill the Uruguayan’s void.
During the Reds’ pre-season, the Brazilian has been a stand-out player for the club and has impressed with his performances. These performances have earned him a call-up for the upcoming friendlies by Dunga.
Dunga has indicated his intentions for Brazil’s new era. Fred, who was consistently criticized for his sub-par performances, was among those left dropped. Full-backs Marcelo and Dani Alves, were also left out of the squad. Players included from the World Cup are Neymar, Willian, Oscar, Fernandinho, Ramires, David Luiz, Hulk, Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho and Maicon. Only 10 out of the 23 World Cup men were named by Dunga.
The newcomers in the team include Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, Atlético Madrid’s Miranda, Brazilian league’s leading scorer Ricardo Goulart. Everton Ribeiro has impressed in the Brazilian league as well and was also named along with Chelsea’s Filipe Luís, who was also surprisingly dropped out of the World Cup team. Porto duo Danilo and Alex Sandro also returned to the international setup, as did Napoli’s Rafael Cabral and Corinthians midfielder Elias.
Captain Thiago Silva was not called up because he is injured.
Brazil squad: Jefferson, Rafael Cabral; David Luiz, Marquinhos, Gil, Miranda, Maicon, Filipe Luís, Alex Sandro, Danilo; Luiz Gustavo, Elias, Fernandinho, Ramires, Everton Ribeiro, Oscar, Hulk, Willian, Coutinho; Ricardo Goulart, Neymar, Diego Tardelli.