Dani Alves makes Brazil World Cup squad but no place for Roberto Firmino

Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli is included as one of 12 players from England’s Premier League

Brazil have included 39-year-old defender Daniel Alves but left out Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino in their 26-man World Cup squad which was named by coach Tite on Monday.

After leaving Barcelona at the end of last season, Alves went to Mexico to try to keep his dream of playing in his fourth World Cup with five-times champions Brazil.

But he played his last game for Pumas in September and sustained a knee injury that has been troubling him since.

Alves has been working on his recovery with the Barcelona academy medical and technical staff over the last few weeks.


“We have been following his recovery from up close and all the data that we have from Barcelona doctors show that he is fit to play,” Brazil team physician Fabio Mahseredjian told a news conference in Rio de Janeiro.

According to Tite, Alves' long history with Brazil and leadership qualities in the changing room were valuable but not the main reason he got a spot in the squad.

“He adds technical and tactical aspects that are impressive, to be an organiser, an articulator,” Tite said. “Sure he is not a 60 to 70 metres player any more, but he has other virtues.

“The criteria awards his technical quality, but mental and physical aspects too.”

Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli is included among nine forwards in a list dominated by 12 players from England's Premier League.

The emergence of a new generation of attacking players like Martinelli, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Raphinha, Gabriel and Pedro has resulted in Firmino, 31, failing to make the squad.

Aston Villa attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho also did not make the list after sustaining a thigh injury in training over the weekend that will sideline him for several weeks.

Brazil will take four centre-backs – Juventus’ Bremer, Paris St Germain’s Marquinhos, Chelsea’s Thiago Silva and Real Madrid’s Eder Militao, while leaving out Roger Ibanez (AS Roma), Lucas Verissimo (Benfica) and Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal).

The Brazilian FA also announced that former PSG manager Ricardo Gomes will join Tite's staff as an assistant.

The squad and Tite will gather on November 14th at Juventus’ training facilities in Turin, where Brazil will hold a five-day training camp before flying to Doha on November 19th.

Brazil open their World Cup campaign in Qatar against Serbia on November 24th and also face Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G.

Brazil squad

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras)

Defenders: Bremer, Alex Sandro (both Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid) Marquinhos (Paris St Germain), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Danilo (Juventus), Daniel Alves (Pumas), Alex Telles (Sevilla)

Midfielders: Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle United), Casemiro, Fred (both Manchester United), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Fabinho (Liverpool), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham United)

Forwards: Antony (Manchester United), Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli (both Arsenal), Neymar Jr (Paris St Germain), Pedro (Flamengo), Raphinha (Barcelona), Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspur), Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr (both Real Madrid)