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Brazil name Dani Alves in 26-member World Cup squad

Rio de Janeiro, Nov 8 (IANS) Brazil manager Tite has named 39-year-old defender Dani Alves in his squad for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the South American country’s football confederation said on Monday.

The 26-man list also includes Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, Real Madrid attackers Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, and veteran Chelsea center-back Thiago Silva.

But there was no place for Aston Villa midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who was left out after suffering a thigh injury while training last week. Also missing was Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino, despite his impressive start to the season for the Premier League club, Xinhua reports.

Tite called up 12 Premier League players, including Manchester United’s Casemiro, Antony and Fred, and Arsenal duo Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli.

Alves’ inclusion comes despite having played just 12 games for Mexican club Pumas this season and the fact he is just six months shy of his 40th birthday.

“The criteria for Daniel Alves was the same as everyone else,” Tite told a news conference. “It rewards individual technical quality, physical fitness and mental (strength).”

Alves will be the oldest player to represent Brazil at the World Cup, eclipsing Djalma Santos, who was 37 when he formed part of the Selecao squad at the 1966 tournament in England.

Alves has been capped 119 times since his international debut in 2006. He went to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups but missed the 2018 tournament in Russia because of a knee injury.

The right-back has been training with his former club Barcelona since the end of the Liga MX regular season in early October.

Brazil have been drawn in the same group as Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon for the World Cup, to be played from November 20 to December 18.

Brazil squad:

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

Defenders: Bremer (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid) Marquinhos (PSG), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Danilo (Juventus), Dani Alves (Pumas), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Alex Telles (Sevilla)

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

Forwards: Antony (Manchester United), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Neymar (PSG), Pedro (Flamengo), Raphinha (Barcelona), Richarlison (Tottenham), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid).

–IANS

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