Staying Power: Walace, Scarpa, Dudu and the Brazil stars playing for their futures versus Colombia

Wednesday's friendly with Colombia will offer a number of domestic-based stars an opportunity to play their way into Tite's long-term plans

Last week Brazil coach Tite named 23 domestic-based player for the squad that will meet Colombia in a fundraising friendly for the families of the victims of the Chapecoense air disaster.

The local Selecao will meet Colombia on Wednesday at the Nilton Santos Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

And while the match is about so much more than football itself, a number of those selected will be hoping to play their way into the coach’s long-term plans.


READ MORE: 
Tite names Brazil squad | Robinho & Diego eye Brazil reunion | Dudu, Jorge & the Brazil hopefuls


"As a human being, for me the result does not matter. If ever there was game that I took the field and didn't care who wins, this is the game. This is about people,” Tite said.

"[But] all the players joining us for this game could have a future with Brazil, that was one of the criteria. I am looking at creating expectations for the future.”

Below, Brasil Global Tour looks at five Selecao stars hoping to create the sort of expectation that wil see them remain part of his plans when Brazil resume World Cup qualifying in March.


ROBINHO (ATLETICO MINEIRO)

Robinho Atlético-MG Internacional Copa do Brasil 02112016

The striker arrives in 2017 off the back of a fabulous season back in Brazil with Atletico-MG. The club have sent a team mostly of reserves to USA for the Florida Cup this month while coach Roger oversees the first-team’s pre-season activities back home. With that, Robinho sealed a return to national team, which for many in Brazil should already have happened last year. With 25 goals he was the top scorering Brazilian in 2016 and returned from China to capture the hearts of Atletico fans.

He will turn 33 on Wednesday as he wins his 100th cap for the Selecao and, with no natural backup to first-choice centre-forward Gabriel Jesus, will be desperate to prove to Tite that he can offer a real alternative come Russia 2018.


JORGE (FLAMENGO)

Atlético-MG x Flamengo 29 10 2016 Jorge

At just 20-years-old, Jorge is the youngest player included in Tite’s squad for this friendly. The Flamengo left-back made his professional debut in 2015 and since established himself a first-team regular in what has been a meteoric rise. He instantly relegated the likes of Pablo Armero and Anderson Pico to the bench following his early introduction into the first-team squad in Rio.

He was selected the best left-back of the Brazilian top flight in 2016 and, after narrowly missing out on a place at the Olympics, has been eagerly awaiting his chance at international level. He’s attracted interest from Manchester City, and while Marcelo and Filipe Luis appear immovable forces in Tite’s senior squad, a good performance this week could cement his role as their natural backup.


GUSTAVO SCARPA (FLUMINENSE)

Gustavo Scarpa -Fluminense

With the departure of leading scorer and all-round leader Fred, Gustavo Scarpa assumed the role of protagonist for Fluminense this season. A classic, cultured midfielder of huge natural talent, nobody has bettered his return of 10 assists going into the final day of the season. He’s also chipped in with eight goals of his own, leaving him Flu’s second-highest scorer behind Cicero.

There is little doubt that Gustavo Scarpa has a future with the senior team, but exactly how quickly it arrives and how fruitful it becomes could depend on his performances this week. While the Selecao are blessed with no shortage of support strikers, proving to Tite he has the ability to create from central areas could prove enough to seal a stay with the Selecao.


DUDU (PALMEIRAS)

Dudu - Palmeiras x Botafogo - 20/11/2016

Captain of the 2016 Brazilian league winners, Palmeiras midfielder Dudu was one of the standout performers of the campaign. He returned home in 2014 after a spell in Ukraine with Dynamo Kiev, and he impressed with Gremio before making a permanent move to the Verdao a year later, instantly getting his career back on track. His only two caps for the Selecao arrived in 2011.

Quick, a fine dribbler and a strong defender, Dudu could be the sort of all-action, multifunctional midfielder to compete with Paulinho for the shuttling role in Tite’s midfield three. In excellent form, a strong showing this week and some good performances in the Copa Libertadores could see him graduate to the senior squad.


WALACE (GREMIO)

Walace treino Grêmio 18012017

An Olympic gold medallist, Walace learned all about the pressures of representing Brazil when he played a major role in sealing that elusive Olympic title last year. He had also already been introduced to the senior side under former coach Dunga, who took the Gremio midfielder to the Copa America Centenario.

A strong, tactically intelligent defensive midfielder, Walace has attracted attention from a number of European clubs following a breakout year in 2016, with Lazio showing heavy interest in bringing him to Italy this month. With Fernandinho and Casemiro currently battling out for the pivot role in Tite’s midfield, Walace could become a long-term third-wheel with a good performance against Colombia.