Casemiro to captain Brazil for first time

Casemiro Brasil treino 21032017
Pedro Martins/MoWa Press
The Real Madrid midfielder will take the armband in the Selecao's World Cup qualifier against Bolivia as coach Tite continues his rotation policy

Casemiro will captain Brazil in their World Cup qualifier against Bolivia on Thursday.

The Real Madrid midfielder will wear the armband for the first time in his international career, becoming the 12th captain of the Selecao since coach Tite’s appointment in June 2016.

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Since his first match against Ecuador, Miranda and Dani Alves have both worn the armband twice, while it has also been handed to Thiago Silva, Marcelo, Filipe Luis, Fernandinho, Renato Augusto, Coutinho, Neymar, Paulinho and Robinho.

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“It's an immense pride for me to be captain of the national team,” Casemiro told the press at Brazil’s Granja Comary training complex on Tuesday.

“Just being here is already a source of pride. I have no words to describe how happy I am to be captain.”

Casemiro has become a vital part of Tite’s new-look Selecao, which has seen the five-time world champions turn away from a recent history of employing a double-pivot to shield the back-four. 

He has earned praise from the coach, his team-mates and local media for his ability not only to destroy, but also distribute from deep and provide a presence stable enough for two more expansive central midfielders to operate ahead of him.

There was also a casualty on Tuesday, as Flamengo playmaker Diego was forced to drop out of the squad through injury.

With Tite having named 24 players in his group despite only being able to name 23 in his matchday squad, Brazil will not call-up a replacement.