During the course of this series I will give my 30-man preliminary list and then my final 23-man list. And, I will also attempt to predict the list the 30-man and then 23-man list that Luiz Felipe Scolari is likely to select to represent the Seleção.
Yes, Brazil can and perhaps will win their sixth FIFA World Cup at home. Brazil is organizing the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1950 when they finished second to Uruguay. This was an emotional national tragedy. After the Pele era provided Brazil three World Cup victories in four competitions, 1958, 1962, 1970, Romario led Brazil to its fourth in the 1994 and Ronaldo led it to its fifth 2002 alongside Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka. Following two early dismissal in the FIFA World Cup knock out stage in 2006 and 2010, both in the quarterfinal, Brazil finally has a team and a coach that can win and make history by winning at home de facto enhancing their own already unmatched legacy.
With a few decent goalkeepers as backups, Brazil has the possibility to have a potential top 25 goalkeeper in Julio Cesar. However, the 34 year old is not playing in Queens Park Rangers not because he cannot perform, but because of the incompetence and stubbornness of his coach Harry Redknapp. As advised by fellow Brazilian goalkeeper Gomes from Tottenham, Julio Cesar should leave QPR this winter in order to go to a club where he will play. If he leaves, find club and play every game from January on to April, he will be the starting goalkeeper for Brazil. His back up will most likely be Jefferson and Cavalieri.
Brazil’s defense most surprisingly has not just got much better it has proven to be one of the best in the world. With arguably the best defender in the world, or at least Top 5, Thiago Silva of Paris Saint-Germain, formerly of AC Milan, is the experienced captain and all-time great defender the Brazil needed. Paring with Thiago Silva is friend and elite central defender from Chelsea David Luiz.
Marquinhos and Alex two great center back also from Paris Saint-Germain and should be the backup center back pair since they performed well the last two seasons individually and have the experience of playing together this season in the French capital. Daniel Alves is one of the top 5 right back in the world and had been for quite a few seasons, so he is automatically in the team. Maicon who was the best right back in the world in his Inter Milan years is back in Italy playing for As Roma, so if healthy and efficient, as he had been so far this season, he should be called. In any case, players such as 20 year old Fabinho from AS Monaco or 28 year old Rafinha for Bayern Munich should get a chance to be called for one or two friendly games to see what they do on the pitch and how well they blend in with the group in case they were to selected because of injuries for instance. Marcelo, 25, of FC Madrid and Adriano, 28, from FC Barcelona are unquestionably to be selected as the left backs.
If I was Luiz Scolari, I will have my first migraine for he has almost too many competitive players to choose from for so many limited places for his midfield. With Ramires and Oscar from Chelsea, Hernanes from Lazio of Rome, Luiz Gustavo of VfL Wolfsburg, long time Liverpool red Lucas, Bernard and Fernando of Shakhtar Donetsk , Paulinho of Tottenham, , Fernandinho of Manchester City ,Jean, Romulo, Fabio Santos and question marks such as Kaka and Fellipe Melo, it is difficult to only pick 6 or 7 players. I would select Ramires, Oscar, Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Bernard. I must note that if Kaka plays like his use to in his prime, I will select him.
Here comes the second migraine as we approach the front line. From a pool of players composed of Neymar, Jonas, Fred ,Jo, Leandro Damiao, Lucas Moura, Hulk, Pato, Robinho and Ronaldinho, Brazil has a lot of options, yet one important variable was removed from the equation when Diego Costa of Atlético Madrid chose to play for Spain instead of playing for his Mother country of Brazil. Unfortunately for Brazil, Diego Costa is the only Brazilian central forward that plays at a very high level in Europe today. Yet as he is no longer an option I would choose Alexandre Pato to play as the starter center forward while Fred is out for his thigh injury because in my opinion the starter center forward competition is a battle between the two. Jo will also have a chance the express himself as he plays Pato’s 25-20 last min, but he will need to score decisive point to contest the second spot. On my wing I will have Neymar starting on the left with Ronaldinho as his backup and Hulk starting of the right with Lucas Moura as his backup.
This Brazilian team does not have the greatest No.9 ever, but it has a lot of creators such as Neymar, Oscar and Ronaldinho who can provoke, create spaces and opportunities and make it easier for the team not to rely solely on one player. Most of all, what this team has is an incredible balance between the defense, working midfielders such as Ramires and Paulinho and the artists forward such as Neymar
My list of 30 and in bold my final 23 player list:
Goalkeeper: Julio Cesar, 34, Queens Park Rangers, Diego Alves Valencia FC 28, Gomes Tottenham 32
Center Back: Thiago Silva,29, Paris Saint-Germain, David Luiz 26 Chelsea FC, Alex,31, Paris Saint-, Marquinhos, 21, Paris Saint-Germain, Dante,30, Bayern Munich, Filipe 28 Atlético Madrid
Right back: Daniel Alves 30 Barcelona FC, Maicon 32 AS Roma, Rafinha 28 from Bayern Munich Left back: Marcelo 25 Real Madrid FC, Adriano 29 Barcelona FC, Maxwell 32 Paris Saint-Germain
Midfielders: Bernard 21, Paulinho Tottenham 25, Luiz Gustavo 26, Ramires 26 Chelsea FC, Oscar 22 Chelsea FC, Kaka 31 AC Milan, Hernandes 28 Lazio Rome, Fernandinho Manchester 28 City FC
Forward: Neymar Barcelona FC 21, Pato 24 Sport Club Corinthians, Lucas Moura 21 Paris Saint-Germain , Ronaldinho 33 Atlético Mineiro, Hulk 27 Zenit Saint Petersburg, Fred 30 Fluminense, Jo 26
My prediction Scolari 30-man list and in bold my prediction of his final 23-player list:
Goalkeeper: Julio Cesar, 34, Queens Park Rangers, Jefferson 30 Botafogo, Cavalieri 31 Fluminense Center Back: Thiago Silva 29 Paris Saint-Germain, David Luiz 26 Chelsea FC, Marquinhos, 21, Paris Saint-Germain, Dante,30, Bayern Munich, Filipe 28 Atlético Madrid, Réver 28 Atlético Mineiro, Right back: Daniel Alves 30 Barcelona FC, Maicon 32 AS Roma, Rafinha 28 from Bayern Munich
Left back: Marcelo 25 Real Madrid FC, Maxwell 32 Paris Saint-Germain
Midfielders: Bernard 21, Paulinho Tottenham 25, Luiz Gustavo 26, Ramires 26 Chelsea FC, Oscar 22 Chelsea FC, Hernandes 28 Lazio Rome, Lucas 26 Liverpool, Jádson 30 FC São Paulo, Fernando 21 Shakhtar Donetsk
Forward: Neymar Barcelona FC 21, Pato 24 Sport Club Corinthians, Lucas Moura 21 Paris Saint-Germain , Robinho 29 AC Milan, Hulk 27 Zenit Saint Petersburg, Fred 30 Fluminense, Jo 26 Atlético Mineiro