On Monday, Brazil will take to the training ground for the first time in Moscow as the players continue to arrive for this week’s Brasil Global Tour clash with Russia.
Alex Sandro, Douglas Costa, Renato Augusto, Neto and Willian Jose were the first to arrive at the Radisson Royal hotel, soon followed by Manchester City trio Gabriel Jesus, Ederson and Fernandinho.
Roma goalkeeper Alisson wasn’t far behind and, shortly after his arrival, announced that, for him, this month marks the beginning of Brazil’s World Cup proper.
“It’s like we are officially starting the World Cup now,” he said.
“This is an opportunity to come to the city where we will play, and feel the atmosphere created by our hosts. It's important for us to show Tite how we have worked at our clubs and that we are preparing for the World Cup.”
Three players desperate to show Tite exactly what they’ve been up to are the new faces in this month’s squad.
Neto, Anderson Talisca and Willian Jose all earned their first call-ups under the current boss and the latter, in particular, is desperate to prove his worth.
"This week is very special for me,” Willian Jose told reporters outside the Radisson Royal. “I do not know if I'm going to play, but I have to do my best in training [to make an impression on] the technical committee.”
A world champion for Brazil at Under-20 level, the 26-year-old has made the senior squad for the first time in his career and is desperate to make up for lost time.
“People can say whatever they want. Many of them do not follow my games. Playing 31 games and scoring 18 goals in an average team in Spain is not easy,” he insisted.
“People criticise what I did, or did not do, over the past five years, but things evolve and they have gone well for me. After a long time, since 2011 when I was with the U-20s, I have dreamed of this moment. It took a while, but the time has come.”
Posted by Confederação Brasileira de Futebol on Sunday, March 18, 2018
With more players arriving on Monday after playing for their clubs on Sunday, Tite will get the chance to cast his eyes over part of his squad in the afternoon as they head to Spartak Moscow’s training ground for the first practice session of the week.
Only a light session is scheduled to take place, but media are hoping some of the work may hint at Tite’s plans when his side meet World Cup hosts Russia on Friday.
With Neymar injured, all of the talk so far has been around who will replace him, with Juventus winger Douglas Costa is tipped as a like-for-like replacement. Philippe Coutinho could replace Renato Augusto in a deeper midfield role, making room for in-form Chelsea attacker Willian to return on the right.