With just two competitive fixtures remaining for Brazil prior to Russia 2017, this week a number of World Cup hopefuls took to the field for their clubs aware they were auditioning for the Selecao.
Their place at the World Cup already confirmed, on Friday Brazil coach Tite names his final squad for World Cup qualifiers, with a chance to look at a couple of new faces next month when his side meets Bolivia and Chile.
The majority of his final 23 already looks confirmed, having made little-to-no changes from the initial starting XI that defeated Ecuador in the coach's debut on the bench one year ago.
Having had just 10 days from the final whistle in Brazil’s last outing to pick his squad, this week Tite was observing potential internationals in domestic action, the Copa Libertadores and the first matchday of the UEFA Champions League.
Below, Brasil Global Tour looks at who impressed, who didn’t, and who was denied the opportunity.
LUAN - GREMIO
Gremio forward Luan made his first full Brazil squad last month, but was unable to further stake his claim this week after a pulled muscle meant he missed his side’s Copa Libertadores clash with Botafogo on Wednesday. The 24-year-old was arguably Brazil’s most important player in their Olympic gold medal success last year, but is yet to make an impression at senior level and will face a nervous wait to see if he has retained his place.
ALISSON - ROMA
Tite’s undisputed no.1, a lack of playing time last season at new club Roma in Italy led to intense speculation that Alisson was in danger of losing his place between the posts. However, he has graduated to first-choice in the Italian capital this season and was mightily impressive this week as he made a series of fine saves to earn his side a 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
CASSIO - CORINTHIANS
The man whose Player of the Match performance kept out Chelsea and led Tite’s Corinthians to the Club World Cup title in 2012 is desperate to retain his role as third-choice goalkeeper after joining the squad last month. However, Cassio did not enjoy his evening on Wednesday, taking a portion of the blame for Racing’s equaliser in the Timao’s 1-1 draw at the Copa Sul-Americana.
VANDERLEI - SANTOS
Cassio is facing intense competition from Santos goalkeeper Vanderlei, who has been hugely impressive this season. The two went head-to-head on Sunday in the Brazilian top flight, with Vanderlei arguably the game’s best performer as his side beat Corinthians 2-0 in the Sao Paulo derby. He then made a number of fine stops in Ecuador against Barcelona in midweek to earn Santos a 1-1 draw in the Copa Libertadores.
ARTHUR - GREMIO
Gremio defensive midfielder Arthur is yet to receive an international call-up, but his impressive performances this year have seen him namechecked by Tite, who made a point of praising the 21-year-old’s progression this term. Tite was at the Engenhao on Wednesday to see Arthur star against Botafogo – a performance that local media say could have convinced Tite to give the young volante a chance with the Selecao next month.
ROBERTO FIRMINO - LIVERPOOL
There is talk that Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino is yet to solidify a place at the World Cup, but he appears to have established himself as Tite’s second-choice centre-forward behind Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus. Firmino was on the scoresheet in his side’s 2-2 Champions League draw with Sevilla on Wednesday and looks set to retain his place in the squad.
TAISON - SHAKHTAR
Shakhtar Donetsk striker Taison’s place is nowhere near as assured. However, the pacey forward who worked under Tite at Internacional, was impressive this week in the Champions League, scoring in his side’s 2-1 win over Napoli. Tite is said to be keen to explore more striking options, but with no natural competition right now Taison may just remain.