The CBF technical coordinator is confident those of Olympic age can continue the tradition of youngsters making an impression at the tournament
CBF technical coordinator Gilmar Rinaldi is optimistic Brazil’s young guns will impress this summer, asking the local public to put their faith in Dunga’s squad travelling to the USA for the Copa America Centenario.
Seven of those included are eligible for August’s Olympic Games in Rio, when Brazil will go in search of the last major title still to elude the five-time world champions.
Speaking to Brasil Global Tour shortly after the squad was announced, 1994 World Cup winner Gilmar said the yougsters will benefit from being present at a major international competition ahead of the games..
"I think it's important because these players will acquire vital experience, but mostly because it shows that these players are already staking a claim for a role in the national team,” Gilmar said.
“These are young players of Olympic age but they are already showing that they have what it takes to be in the first team. They are there on merit, not only because they can play at the Olympics. It is really positive because they provide the coach with more options.”
Goalkeeper Ederson, defenders Marquinhos, Rodrigo Caio, Fabinho and Douglas Santos, Barcelona midfielder Rafinha and Santos forward Gabigol were all included in Dunga’s squad. All seven are tipped to play a major role in the Olympic team, which will be led by senior team captain Neymar.
And Gilmar is confident they all have what it takes to make continue a recent tradition of yongsters making an impression at the Copa America, just as a young Ronaldinho did in Venezuela in 1999.
"We are hoping for something like that and will monitor them closely,” he said.
“We are sure that someone will stand out. There is a great opportunity for every time the national team plays. But historically the Copa America has contributed to this, and we hope it will be the same this time.”
Finally, Gilmar reiterated how hard the squad would be working and asked the Brazil fans to have confidence in the group heading north in search of the Selecao’s ninth Copa America title.
"Have trust in us - we are working very hard. It’s very difficult but we want more, too, and want to give our best for the national team. God willing, everyone will get everything right.”
The Brazil squad will convene for the Copa America on May 22 in Los Angeles before heading to Denver to face Panama on May 29 as the Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour arrives in Colorado.