Brazil coach Mano Menezes named a 23 man squad for the upcoming February 9 friendly against France composed entirely of European players. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar was recalled to the team but experienced international players such as Kaka, Lucio and Maicon were overlooked, once again, by Mano in an apparent effort to continue building the international experience of his younger players. One of the obvious questions elicited by his squad selection concerns who will play the role of playmaker given the absence of Kaka, Ganso, Ronaldinho and Carlos Eduardo. Mano's attacking line-up features Robinho, Pato, Andre and the Hulk. Lucas and Ramires appear slotted to occupy a defensive role in midfield. Andre Santos, David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Dani Alves look set to start in defense.
Mano's decision not to select an experienced playmaker raises the first doubts over his squad selections and ability to lead the national team. France have historically been a difficult opponent for the Selecao and, based on his squad selection, February 9 should prove no exception.
Neymar and a number of other domestic players were omitted because the scheduling of the friendly conflicted with domestic Brazilian matches in tournaments such as the Copa Libertadores.
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Gomes (Tottenham), Neto (Fiorentina)
Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Rafael (Manchester United), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Andre Santos (Fenerbahce), Breno (Bayern Munich), David Luiz (Benfica), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), Luizao (Benfica).
Midfielders: Lucas (Liverpool), Ramires (Chelsea), Sandro (Tottenham), Elias (Atletico Madrid), Hernanes (Lazio), Anderson (Manchester United), Renato Augusto (Bayern Leverkusen), Jadson (Shakhtar).
Forwards: Robinho (Milan), Alexandre Pato (Milan), Andre (Dynamo Kyiv), Hulk (Porto)