Rio de Janeiro: Paris Saint-Germain central defender Thiago Silva has returned to Brazil’s football squad for their 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Venezuela next month.
Apart from Silva, Manchester City’s Fernandinho, Chelsea’s Oscar, Bayern Munich’s Douglas Costa and Liverpool’s Robert Firmino were also recalled in a 24-man squad announced by Selecao chief coach Tite on Sep 16, reports Xinhua.
Former Brazil captain Silva has been in international exile since last year’s Copa America, when he gave away a penalty with a handball in the team’s quarter-final loss to Paraguay.
Tite revealed that one of the first things he did after being appointed Brazil coach in June was call Silva and Real Madrid left-back Marcelo, who had also been out of favour under former Selecao boss Dunga.
“Thiago told me that it (an international recall) was what he most wanted,” Tite told a news conference. “At no time did I guarantee their selection, but I wanted to know if they were available.”
Tite said he also spoke by telephone with London club Chelsea’s head coach Antonio Conte about Oscar.
“Oscar has been playing in a more defensive role. My Italian isn’t great but Conte answered my call and gave me un update on Oscar, Willian and other Chelsea players,” Tite added.
Brazil will host Bolivia in Natal on October 6 before an away clash against Venezuela in Merida five days later.
The Selecao is currently second in the South American zone qualifying standings with 15 points from eight matches, one point behind Uruguay.
The top four teams at the end of the two-year qualifying campaign will book a berth in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The fifth-ranked side will earn a play-off spot.
Goalkeepers: Alex Muralha (Flamengo), Alisson (Roma), Weverton (Atletico Paranaense)
Defenders: Daniel Alves (Juventus), Fagner (Corinthians), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Gil (Shandong Luneng), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Miranda (Inter Milan), Thiago Silva (PSG)
Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Giuliano (Zenit), Lucas Lima (Santos), Oscar (Chelsea), Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Willian (Chelsea)
Forwards: Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich), Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras), Neymar (Barcelona), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).