On Friday Brazil coach Tite named his latest squad, for October’s World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Chile in what will be his final competitive tests before World Cup 2018.
There were five changes and six new players from his previous squad, as Tite surprisingly selected a 24-man squad despite only being able to select 23 for his matchday squad.
Taison, Rodrigo Caio, Fagner, Giuliano and Luan were all dropped from last month’s group.
Monaco defender Jemerson and Flamengo playmaker Diego returned, while there were first call-ups under the current coach for Gremio defensive midfielder Arthur, Manchester City full-back Danilo, Shakhtar midfielder Fred and Shandong Luneng striker Diego Tardelli.
Here’s what Tite had to say about the changes.
TITE ON: ARTHUR
"When I went to the game (between Gremio and Botafogo this week), I wanted to see the atmosphere of the game, the emotional side, the pressure of it all, where you could size up the environment in which the kid was playing so naturally. I cannot close doors to a player in a team where he is so important despite his age.
"I do not know if, in nine months from now, he will have a place, but he is a prospect for the future. I can compare him now to where Gabriel Jesus was [when he started his Brazil career].”
TITE ON: COUTINHO OR WILLIAN
"Coutinho is more cerebral, can help more with attacking organisation but doesn’t attack space as well. We will choose between them according to our gameplan."
TITE ON: DIEGO TARDELLI
"Diego Tardelli has a very good history with the national team, and left a legacy of his time in Dunga’s squad. He is playing well, I faced him when he was at Atletico-MG, and he was terrifying to play against. In 13 games against my Corinthians teams, he scored 11 goals and got an assist.”
TITE ON: COMPETITION FOR PLACES
"I'm encouraging the players that they still have the chance to break into the team. Competing at a high level helps them improve. I do not have (a percentage of the team that I’ve decided on for the World Cup).”
TITE ON: DIEGO
“Diego started the season well, earning a call-up to the Selecao, was in good form. He has great ability. We saw it all in the past. He is not weighed down by the Brazil shirt, it doesn’t inhibit him. We have to take advantage of the time we have left. We have nine months left, and we have to have players who are prepared to deal with adversity. He has the capacity to do that.”
TITE ON: VANDERLEI'S OMISSION
“[It won’t take a miracle for Vanderlei to be called up]. The coach is a human being and does not demand miracles from human beings. He has the humility to understand that there are other people with different ideas to his own, but he does not have to use those words. I do not demand miracles from anyone."
TITE ON: ROTATING THE CAPTAINCY
"I don’t do it just to be nice. I've learned that leadership requires a number of qualities. It's behavioural, tactical, technical, about communication… everyone has these to varying degrees. I try to encourage players to show theirs.”
TITE ON: GOALKEEPERS
"There is technical evaluation of everyone during training and matches. I don’t have lots of time... I cannot be nice to everyone. It so happens that we have retained out goalkeepers, but we have maybe seven in contention right now, we have a lot of strength in that position.
“Diego Alves, Weverton, they have the chance, too. I watched the [Cassio and Vanderlei] in the [Santos vs Corinthians match], Alisson made the difference for Roma against Atletico Madrid [in the Champions League], keeping a clean sheet. Ederson is in good form. Diego Alves, unfortunately, couldn’t play in the Copa do Brasil [as he’s not registered]. Fabio, too, is performing to a high level.”
TITE ON: EVOLUTION
"It is a daily process of construction, in every training session, every squad, we study the player and talk to their coaches. And it’s inevitable that we take some from those who were here before us. Diego Tardelli was called up by other Brazil coaches.
"Felipao said he had to set up a base of his team. That is absolutely correct. Mano Menezes did the same. We have to grow and get better, always looking to get to a higher level. That is what I will be doing against Bolivia, looking for a performance and a result which will be a huge challenge as our history there is not good.”
TITE ON: EVERYONE STILL HAS A CHANCE
"I had about 32 names. We are seeking certain criteria, and try to be as detailed as possible. We seek information and analyse data to look for players who can perform in the Selecao. It would be very easy for me to select a lot of other players.
“You don’t know just how challenging it is. I wish I had more time to work with them all. They are opportunities to open up our range of options and evaluate them. Jemerson and Danilo are examples of us doing that. Everyone has an opportunity.
“Neither those who have joined us nor those who have been left out are final. More games will allow us to build our concepts further.”