Gabriel Jesus to captain Brazil vs Croatia

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The Manchester City forward will become the Selecao's youngest captain in almost a quarter of a century in a match that will also see Neymar return

Gabriel Jesus will captain Brazil at Anfield in Sunday’s Brasil Global Tour clash with Croatia.

The Manchester City forward is the last member of Tite’s preferred starting XI yet to have worn the captain’s armband, which has been rotated since the coach’s June 2016 appointment.

Gabriel will become the sixth-youngest captain in the Selecao’s history and the youngest since a 1995 friendly draw with Romana, when Ze Elias became Brazil’s youngest ever captain at 19 years and two days-old in a young team that coach Mario Zagallo was preparing for the Olympics.

“I was very surprised when I found out but I also already knew that coach Tite demands everyone shows leadership in the national team,” Gabriel said.

"Danilo was joking with me and I said told him that if he did not cross the ball to me properly I would give him a dressing down,” he joked. 

“Today I have the opportunity today to wear a very special shirt and the coach has made it clear that I am a leader of tomorrow.”

Gabriel becomes the 15th captain – in full internationals – since the arrival of Tite, who sidestepped the controversy around Neymar resigning from the role by not appointing a replacement.

Dani Alves was thought to be set to inherit the armband for the duration of the World Cup, but his injury means Tite is now likely to continue his policy of rotation.

“Daniel Alves was our captain,” said Tite on Saturday of the PSG man who wore the armband the most (4) under the current boss.

“He assumed that role in big matches against Germany and England because of his experience. But we'll keep rotating, of course, with the most experienced players doing it the most.”

Keep it in the air, Ney! Posted by Brasil Global Tour on Saturday, June 2, 2018

Training at Anfield on the eve of the game also saw Tite confirm his starting XI, later clarifying that Neymar will make his Brazil return from the bench as he completes his recovery from a foot injury that has kept him out of action since February. 

Brazil will line-up on Sunday as follows: Alisson; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro; Willian, Paulinho, Fernandinho, Coutinho; Gabriel Jesus.

The XI confirms that Thiago Silva has ended a three-year wait to reclaim a first-team role with the Selecao, with Marquinhos dropping out of the side as Tite is keen to introduce a central defender who can start attacking moves by passing out from the back.

Brazil face Croatia at Anfield on Sunday at 15:00 local time, before ending their World Cup preparations by taking on Austria on June 10 as the Brasil Global Tour hits Vienna.

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