Brazil coach Mano Menezes continued his radical restructuring of the Selection, better known as the Selecao, by dropping Santos teenage sensation Neymar from the national team for two international friendlies scheduled for October. Citing Neymar’s recent outburst at former Santos coach Dorival Junior, Mano noted the importance of defining the kind of professional conduct deemed acceptable for the national team. Neymar’s omission and Ganso’s knee injury pave the way for Carlos Eduardo and Philippe Coutinho to take charge of the offensive component of midfield alongside Robinho. Meanwhile, Mano’s squad continues to omit players from the World Cup 2010 such as Luis Fabiano, Maicon and Lucio in what many view as a refreshing “selection” that will be difficult to scout against given its youth and lack of a history of playing amongst one another. A close look at the roster reveals that Mano’s defensive back four is starting to take shape with Thiago Silva and David Luiz anchoring the center of midfield, and Andre Santos and Dani Alves taking the place of left and right back respectively. But the midfield and strike partnerships remain a revolving experiment both in terms of players and the precise formation that gets played on the pitch, even though Mano has historically favored either a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-2-1.
Squad for Brazil's October friendlies, with opponents TBD:
Goalkeepers: Victor (Grêmio), Jefferson (Botafogo), Neto (Atlético PR)
Fullbacks: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Mariano (Fluminense), André Santos (Fenerbahçe), Adriano Correia (Barcelona)
Central Defenders: David Luiz (Benfica), Alex (Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Milan), Rever (Atlético MG)
Midfielders: Lucas (Liverpool), Ramires (Chelsea), Sandro (Tottenham),
Elias (Corinthians), Carlos Eduardo (Rubin Kazan), Philippe Coutinho (Inter Milan), Wesley (Werder Bremen), Giuliano (Internacional)
Forwards: Alexandre Pato (AC Milan), Robinho (AC Milan), André (Dynamo Kiev), Nilmar (Villarreal)