The Selecao will take to the field against Ecuador on Saturday without a single one of those who participated in the infamous World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany two years ago
A much-changed Brazil squad will finally make its debut at Copa America on Saturday when they meet Ecuador at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
And fans hoping to see the five-time world champions back to their best will see a completely different team to the one that played out the now infamous 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semi-finals of World Cup 2014.
For the first time since that match, not a single player who started against Germany will feature in the starting XI of a Brazil team.
Hulk is the only member of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s starting line-up that day to have made Brazil’s Copa America Centenario squad, but he will be on the bench in the opening game.
From all of those who featured in Belo Horizonte two years ago, the only other player to have made the squad is Chelsea’s Willian. He featured as a second-half substitute against Germany and has since gone on to establish himself as an undisputed starter for Brazil.
Others such as David Luiz, Fernandinho and Marcelo have featured under Dunga but all three have been culled for Copa America. Coming into the tournament, the only one of Scolari’s first XI set to feature was Luiz Gustavo, but he withdrew from the squad this week for personal issues.
The multitude of changes, however. are not restricted to those who fell victim to the biggest shock in World Cup history.
Dunga has shuffled his pack throughout his tenure and the Copa America will also see a number of different faces from those who began the coach’s first match back in charge, which produced a 1-0 Brasil Global Tour victory over Colombia in Miami on September 6, 2014.
The goalkeeper, Jefferson, for example, was taking the first steps on a road that saw him establish himself as his country’s undisputed No.1. Now he is not even in the squad, and it has been a year since one of Maicon, Ramires or Diego Tardelli have featured for the Selecao.
Instead, Dunga appears to be looking to the future, with a majority of the supporting cast made up of those who will seek to end Brazil’s long wait for gold at the Rio Olympics in August.
Chief among those is Santos starlet Gabigol, who crowned his international debut by coming off the bench to score his side’s second in a 2-0 Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour victory over Panama on Sunday.
Dunga appears to have been forced into one major change for the match against Ecuador after captain Miranda hobbled out of training with a muscle injury this week. Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos is expected to take his place alongside Gil at the heart of the defence. Real Madrid’s Casemiro should replace Luiz Gustavo as the holding midfielder.