In an all-important World Cup-year, a host of Selecao hopefuls are making moves in the hopes of securing a place at Russia 2018
This year’s FIFA TMS Global Transfer Market Report showed that, once again, Brazilians were the most transferred nationality in world football.
678 players arrived in Brazil in 2016 (a rise of 8.1% on the previous year) and no less than 806 emigrated abroad (a 3.6% rise on 2015).
And Brazil internationals past, present and future, have featured heavily among them. With the World Cup just one year away, coach Tite will once again have his technical staff travelling the globe as he seeks to finalise his 23-man squad for Russia 2018.
And with intense competition for paces in Tite’s squad, a whole host of big name Brazilians have jumped ship ahead of a World Cup year that, for some, could be their last chance at glory with the Selecao.
Below, Brasil Global Tour take a look at some of the biggest movers hoping to attract Tite’s attention this coming season.
DOUGLAS COSTA (BAYERN MUNICH TO JUVENTUS)
A series of injuries at the most inopportune of moments have cost Douglas Costa what was once a nailed-down starting role in the Brazil side under former coach Dunga. Various muscle problems ruled him out of two Copas America, last year’s Olympic Games and a number of World Cup qualifiers.
The 26-year-old is now seemingly behind Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, Philippe Coutinho and substitute Willian in the fight for the three outright attacking roles in Tite’s Brazil team and, after accepting his playing time in Germany under Carlo Ancelotti may be limited, Douglas Costa will launch his assault on an international return in Italy after making the move to Juventus.
DANI ALVES (JUVENTUS TO PSG)
Brazil’s first-choice right-back, Dani Alves saw his first-team oppotunities at Juventus last season as coach Massimiliano Allegri handed him just 15 starts in Serie A last term, prioritising the veteran for the club's UEFA Champions League campaign.
The 34-year-old Alves is well aware that next year’s World Cup in Russia will likely be his last opportunity at a major tournament for the Selecao and decided to take up the option of calling time on his two-year deal in Turin after a single season. Regular first-team action in the French capital should see him hold off competition to retain his place in Tite’s first XI.
DIEGO ALVES (VALENCIA TO FLAMENGO)
That the former Valencia man has made just 10 Brazil caps in six years as a Brazil international is a mystery to many. For a decade he has been regarded as one of the country’s top custodians, but significant injury problems have contributed to his lack of international minutes.
Having returned to the Brazil squad last month for the Brasil Global Tour clashes with Argentina and Australia in Melbourne, Diego Alves has headed home, signing for Brazil’s best-supported club, Flamengo, in the hope of beating Roma’s Alisson to the no.1 jersey in Russia.
EDERSON (BENFICA TO MAN CITY)
23-year-old Ederson hopes a mega-money switch to Manchester City in England’s Premier League will help his chances of securing the role as Tite’s first-choice goalkeeper – what is osetensibly the only position in the starting XI currently up for grabs.
The former Benfica man has impressed goalkeeping coach Taffarel in training with the national team and a good start to life in England could well see him beat out both Alisson and Diego Alves. The remaining World Cup qualifiers will likely provide him his big chance to impress the current Brazil coach.
DANILO (REAL MADRID TO MAN CITY)
Two desperately disappointing seasons in Spain with Real Madrid have cost former Porto right-back Danilo his role in the Brazil squad, and he is now hoping a change of scenery could reignite a career that has stalled.
The 26-year-old former Santos man has made just 15 appearances for his country and appears to be behind the likes of Fagner, Mariano and Bruno Peres in Tite’s thoughts. A return to form under Pep Guardiola is an absolutle necessity if Danilo is to have any chance of making Russia next year.
LUIZ GUSTAVO (WOLFSBURG TO MARSEILLE)
One of Brazil’s most consistent performers for three years between the 2013 Confederations and Dunga’s dismissal last year, Luiz Gustavo us yet to make a single squad since Tite’s appointment just over a year ago.
The 30-year-old’s limited range of passing has left him looking in from the outside, but a July switch to French club Marseille will offer him a fresh start and another opportunity to impress the Brazil coaching staff, who will certainly be making scouting trips to Ligue 1 this coming season.
NEYMAR (BARCELONA TO PSG)
Neymar shocked the world this month by make an record-breaking €222 million switch from Barcelona to PSG – more than doubling the previous high paid for a player. And for Brazil, the 25-year-old’s decision is probably a good one.
He remains with a UEFA Champions League contender and will continue to fight for titles on all fronts but, while a number of Ligue 1 clubs look well placed to put up a better fight this season, Neymar will undoubtedly be under a little less pressure week in week out than he was at Barcelona, leaving Tite hopeful he’s arrive in Russia with a little more in the tank.