With less than four months to go before the start of World Cup 2018, Brazil coach Tite has confirmed he is already decided on 15 of the 23 players that will go in search of the Selecao’s sixth world title.
Since his June 2016 arrival, Tite has worked with a consistent and settled squad, with the past 20 or so months bringing just one change to his preferred starting line-up, as Philippe Coutinho replaced Willian on the right side of his preferred 4-5-1 setup.
The former Corinthians boss has repeated said that majority of his group for Russia 2018 had already booked their place at the tournament, and he has now confirmed the worst-kept secret in Brazilian football.
“One part of my list still open, but another is already closed,” he told Uol Esporte.
“Closed are the names who have shown consistency for their clubs and the Selecao – they are already confirmed and playing well.
“They are the 11 who are starters [Alisson, Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Miranda, Marcelo, Casemiro, Renato Augusto, Paulinho, Coutinho, Neymar and Gabriel Jesus], Thiago Silva, Fernandinho, Willian, and [Roberto] Firmino.”
Manchester City’s Ederson is likely to remain as second-choice goalkeeper.
That means the race for the final seven places in his squad will begin in March, when the Brasil Global Tour resumes with clashes against Russia in Moscow and Germany in Berlin.