Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho has been called up to the first Brazil squad named after their disastrous World Cup over the summer.
The Selecao slumped to a fourth-placed finish in the tournament, but it was the manner of their exit that was the most frustrating for the Brazilians.
Backed by an expectant home crowd, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men met eventual winners Germany in the semi-finals only to be destroyed by a wonderful display of attacking excellence.
Germany ran out 7-1 winners in that match, before a 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands in the third/fourth playoff cost Scolari his job. There has already been wholesale changes to the national squad as they look to pick themselves back up from this disappointment.
Only 10 of the 23 players selected for the World Cup have remained in the team to face Colombia and Ecuador in two friendlies next month in Dunga’s first games in charge since taking over for a second time.
Amongst the players dropped are Tottenham Hotspur’s Paulinho, Barcelona’s Daniel Alves and Real Madrid’s Marcelo as Brazil announced an intention to give chances to untested players.
Coutinho is one of those and his absence in the summer came as a surprise to many. The creative, attacking midfielder was excellent in Liverpool’s season as they returned to the Champions League, but did not do enough to make the 23 for the international tournament and had to watch on as the nation were humiliated.
The 22-year-old has only one cap for his country to date and has not appeared since 2010, but that appears to be set to change now.
He is joined by Chelsea new-boy Filipe Luis and highly rated Napoli man Rafael Cabral in a new-look Brazil squad who are under pressure to provide a football-crazy nation with some much-needed positivity after such a huge disappointment in the summer.
Details of the full-squad can be seen below:
Jefferson (Botafogo), Rafael Cabral (Napoli)
David Luiz (Paris Saint-Germain), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Gil (Corinthians), Miranda (Atletico Madrid), Maicon (Roma), Filipe Luis (Chelsea), Alex Sandro (FC Port), Danilo (FC Port)
Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Elias (Corinthians), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Ramires (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea), Everton Ribeiro (Cruzeiro), Oscar (Chelsea), Coutinho (Liverpool)
Ricardo Goulart (Cruzeiro), Hulk (Zenit), Neymar (Barcelona), Diego Tardelli (Atletico MG)
Should Coutinho and Luis have been in the Brazil squad at the World Cup?