Scolari: Brazil players running out of time to secure World Cup place

The Selecao boss has warned he will have his provisional squad in mind by next March, and will not tinker too much with the Confederations Cup winning formula
Luiz Felipe Scolari has warned Brazilian stars playing around the world that they are running out of time to secure a spot in his final squad for the World Cup next summer.

The showpiece event may still be 10 months away but the Selecao coach insists he is already finalising his plans and is unlikely to make many changes in the final months leading up to the tournament.

Scolari spoke to the media after announcing his 22-man squad to face Australia and Portugal in September, with Ramires and Maicon sealing returns to the national side.

He said: "The base of players that won the Confederations Cup will be retained for next summer. The players were amazing in that tournament and I will only make a few changes for the World Cup.

"The door will never be closed for any player who shines but, in principle, I will have chosen my 23 players for World Cup by March.

"These two games against Australia and Portugal could be my last chance to observe certain players before deciding who should go to World Cup.”

Scolari said he was looking forward to the two games - the first of which is against Australia at home before the clash against his former charges Portugal in the United States – after the side suffered a disappointing defeat to Switzerland last time out.

He continued: "In these friendlies we have a chance to test a few players out. They may not necessarily be new players but it is an opportunity to change things around and have a look at some of them playing in different positions.

"Australia are a good team and will be a good test. They already qualified for World Cup, so we want to face them.

"Facing Portugal on September 10 will be very strange for me and for [assistant coach] Flavio Murtoza. I have very special affection towards this country.”

Discussing specific selections in his squad, the Selecao coach insisted the dispute with Ramires was now in the past and said he was happy to welcome back Roma full-back Maicon.

“I know Ramires had his problems with CBF president Jose Maria Marin," added Scolari. "But when I showed Marin my squad list yesterday he accepted the fact that Ramires is on it.

“We have solved the problems we had with Ramires and he deserves to be with us. I have been watching him recently and he has been doing very well.

“Maicon has always been great for Brazil. He is at Roma now and I want to watch him in these two matches.

"I’m happy to give him the chance – he is another player who deserves it.”