This week the Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour hits Melbourne as five-time world champions Brazil return to Australia for the first time in three decades.
With big tests ahead in the form of Argentina and Australia, Tite will take advantage of the fixtures by taking a closer look at some of those on the periphery of a team that has raced to eight consecutive victories in World Cup qualifying to become the first nation to book their place at Russia 2018.
With Neymar, Casemiro, Marcelo, Dani Alves, Marquinhos and Miranda all given time off for a much-needed holiday, Tite’s 23-man squad is packed full of top-class players desperate to make a good impression in Austrlia.
Below, Brasil Global Tour take a closer look at those dreaming of a ticket to Russia next year.
Diego Souza has made Tite’s Brazil squad for the third time in a row, having initially impressed up front during January's friendly with Colombia. He retained his place in the group when first-choice Gabriel Jesus was forced to sit out of March’s World Cup qualifiers through injury. With nobody having cemented their place as backup striker, Diego Souza will hope to edge past Roberto Firmino in the pecking order.
One of the standout performers of a Juventus that are 90 minutes away from UEFA Champions League glory, the former Porto man has emerged a strong competitor to previously immovable Marcelo and Filipe Luis. He faces an uphill task to earn a regular place in the squad but, with Tite asking his full-backs to venture forward more regularly than under his predecessor, Dunga, Alex Sandro will hope to battle Atletico Madrid’s defensive-minded Filipe Luis for the role of reserve left-back. At 26-years-old he will be in the prime years of his career come Russia 2018 and has a chance to prove his worth to the Selecao in june.
June will provide a huge opportunity for the Bayern man to play his way back into contention after an extremely unfortunate run of injuries that cost him two Copa America tournaments and the Olympic Games, as well as World Cup qualifiers. One of the standout performers under previous coach Dunga, Douglas Costa has now lost his place but will have the chance to prove his worth to Tite.
Perhaps the biggest surprise on Tite’s list, Rafinha refused a call-up under previous coach Dunga, which led to suggestions he was holding out for a place in the Germany national team. However, Tite has given him a second chance and with Dani Alves given the summer off, the 31-year-old will battle it out with Fagner after being drafted in following an injury to Sevilla’s Mariano. A unexpected opportunity has arrived for Rafinha, who will hope to take full advantage in Australia.
Tite has a decision to make with his goalkeeper. Roma’s Alisson started all eight qualifiers but his complete lack of game-time in Serie A is fast becoming a problem. Valencia’s Diego Alves has been one of Europe’s finest custodians for a number of years and, back after a terrible knee injury, and will finally get his chance to prove himself the best Brazilian goalkeper next month after Alisson was left out.