The Juventus man's international hopes suffer one injury blow after another, leaving November's Brasil Global Tour perhaps his final Brazil audition
Brazil international Douglas Costa has been left mostly cursing his bad luck over the past two years.
A first-team regular under previous coach Dunga, a host of fine performances under Pep Guardiola for Bayern Munich left many considering Douglas to be in the long-term fixture of the Selecao.
His importance was underlined by the fact he was named as one of Brazil’s three overage players for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
But a host of muscle injuries would cost him his place at two Copas America and the Olympics – and he’s since been left on the outside looking in.
"Douglas Costa is no newcomer because everyone in the latest squad had been called up by Tite at least once before,” Fox Sports’ Leandro Quessada told Brasil Global Tour.
“But coming back is good for him because every time Douglas has been called up he’s suffered an injury. Tite is still trying to find a substitute for Neymar and it could be Douglas Costa.”
Douglas was initially overlooked by Tite. He returned for the coach’s second squad, for matches with Bolivia and Venezuela last year, but once again injury struck and he was replaced by Taison.
Another opportunity arrived in March, for qualifiers versus Uruguay and Paraguay, but more injury problems saw him cut.
Douglas finally got his chance in June for the Brasil Global Tour contest with Australia in Melbourne, but he was replaced by Taison after an hour and the Shakhtar forward stole a lead in the pecking order by finding the net to help the Selecao to a 4-0 win.
Douglas has seen just 93 minutes of football under Tite, and just 11 of those minutes came in competitive action.
Meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho has ousted Willian to form Brazil’s consistent attacking trio alongside Gabriel Jesus and Neymar.
But it seems Douglas' World Cup hopes are far from over, and this month he will have another chance to prove his worth when he joins the squad for a Brasil Global Tour double-header versus Japan and England,
Athletic, quick, strong and direct, Tite believes the on-loan Juventus man could add an extra vertical thrust to his side when needed, and the 27-year-old now has one final opportunity to earn himself a slot among Tite’s reserves.
"I think it's Douglas Costa's last chance, he's a player I particularly like as he has a different style to the others,” said Globo’s Eric Faria.
“He's a left-footed player who can play on both sides and is looking to regain his form at Juventus. I think he offers a different option. He goes at opponents one-on-one, he’s very good dribbler and has that versatility. I hope he stays fit because Tite is not ready to give him up on him.”
There will be huge pressure on Douglas’s shoulders next month, which only increased this month when Tite suggested shifting Coutinho over to the left and introducing Willian would be the natural way to compensate for Neymar's absence.
With him expected to play a major role against Japan in Lille, he will be well aware that there will be little margin for error with just one more squad to be named before Brazil settle on their 23 for the World Cup.