The Valencia goalkeeper is finally set to make his international bow on Tuesday when the Selecao meet El Salvador on the Brasil Global Tour
A number of fresh faces will be given an opportunity to stake their claims for places for a role in a new era for Brazilian football tonight when the Selecao face El Salvador at FedExField.
Coach Tite has made six changes to the line-up that saw off USA 2-0 on Friday, including handing debuts to a couple of hopefuls.
Full-back Eder Militao, 20, will be handed the first international appearance of what he hopes will be a long and successful career with his country following his meteoric rise with Sao Paulo and subsequent transfer to Porto in Portugal.
But while things are coming quickly for one debutant, the other has had quite a wait: eight years and 25 matches, in fact.
After nearly a decade since his first Brazil call-up, Valencia goalkeeper Neto has made the Brazil squad for 24 previous matches – and never made it onto the field.
But on Tuesday, his long wait will finally end. Neto will become a Brazil international.
"When I told him, a huge smile came across Neto’s face,” said Tite. “He said thank you very much, but he didn’t have to thank me for anything.”
The 29-year-old goalkeeper earned his first international call-up in 2010 under Mano Menezes as a promising teenager but never made it off the bench.
He was then a member of the squad that went to 2012 Olympics in London, appearing twice in the Games, before joining the senior squad in 2014, only to miss out on a place in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s World Cup squad.
Neto returned in 2015 and went to the Copa America after replacing the injured Diego Alves, but remained a reserve.
That same year, his impressive form for Fiorentina earned him a move to Juventus, but he would remain understudy to the great Gianluigi Buffon before joining Valencia in 2017.
Neto is once again impressing after returning to regular first-team action in Spain and has quickly established himself as one of La Liga’s leading goalkeepers. His form impressed coach Tite, who called him up again in March for the friendlies with Russia and Germany, but was absent again in June as the Selecao headed to Russia.
It’s been a long wait, but Neto will finally achieve a dream on Tuesday. Now he will have his eyes set firmly on Copa America 2019, desperate not to miss out once again.