No major surprises in Brazil's World Cup squad

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 7, 2014 at 6:42 pm •  Published: May 7, 2014
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SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari announced his World Cup squad on Wednesday without any major surprises, choosing most of the players who won last year's Confederations Cup.

Scolari's 23-name list includes 16 players who were in the team that won last year's warm-up tournament by beating world champion Spain in the final. It will be a squad inexperienced in World Cups, however, with only six players who featured in past tournaments.

"We will have to pass our own experience to these players," said Scolari, who led Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title.

The team will mix talented young stars such as Neymar and Oscar with more experienced players such as Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Hulk.

"We know that not everybody will agree with all the names, it's normal," Scolari said. "But now that we have the 23 players, we would like to ask that our fans support all of them so together we can focus on our goal of winning the World Cup."

The squad announcement was a high-profile event in Brazil, with television stations juggling their programing to broadcast it live. The Brazilian football federation said 870 journalists, many from overseas, were accredited for the event at a traditional concert house in Rio de Janeiro. The stage where Scolari spoke was set up in front of a Brazilian flag the size of a four-story building, according to the federation.

"My childhood dream came true," Neymar said on social media site Instagram. "Today was one of the most anticipated days of my life. It's time to represent the entire country. I'm completely moved, anxious and nervous. I want it to arrive soon."

Five players from this year's list were in the 2010 World Cup — Cesar, Silva, Alves, Maicon and Ramires. Fred didn't make it to South Africa but was in the squad for the 2006 tournament in Germany.

"I don't think this lack of World Cup experience will play a big part," Scolari said. "Our players have been gaining experience in their leagues in Europe and I don't think they will be affected by this too much, although in certain World Cup situations, having that experience would be important. But I fully trust these players."

Veterans Kaka and Robinho — the stars in the 2010 tournament — still had hopes of playing in the tournament at home but were left off the list, as were former AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato and 34-year-old Ronaldinho, the 2002 world champion who missed out on his chance of making it to one last World Cup.



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