An alternative Copa America squad for Brazil boss Dunga
Brazil boss Dunga has named his Copa America roster and seven on standby, as the Samba Boys look to bounce back in Chile this summer from their disappointment when hosting the World Cup.
At 10/3 to regain this continental crown from holders Uruguay, Coral football experts got thinking about an alternative squad he could have picked of other in-form players. Here’s what we came up with.
Whilst at Spurs, stopper Heurelho Gomes became something of a joke, but keeping 15 clean sheets at Watford, which helped them make a Premier League return, has rehabilitated him somewhat.
Dunga might have been better served by picking an experienced goalie such as 34-year-old former PSV Eindhoven player Gomes, who earned a dozen caps as understudy to Dida and Julio Cesar (Benfica).
Long-time Brazil number one Cesar quit international football following the World Cup, but another Portuguese Primeira Liga custodian in Porto’s uncapped Fabiano has ably deptuised for Helton, who missed most of the season injured. Rafael Cabral of Napoli has just missed the Samba Boys squad cut, but did lose his place under Rafa Benitez this term.
With the Dragons having already done a deal to send Danilo to Real Madrid, their other full back Alex Sandro could follow suit, but missed out on a squad spot for the Copa as he is behind Marcelo and Filipe Luis in Dunga’s pecking order.
Inter Milan pair Dodo (on loan from Roma) and Juan Jesus have been regulars under Roberto Mancini this term, yet both have been victims of a season of transition at the San Siro.
Sticking with Serie A sides, Henrique (Napoli) was Luiz Felipe Scolari’s fourth-choice centre half at the World Cup and has harshly been omitted by successor Dunga. Attack-minded Bayern Munich right back Rafinha failed to make the cut last summer, but has once again scooped silverware at the Allianz.
Dunga did not explore the possibility of recalling Naldo (Wolfsburg) as they have been the best of the rest behind Bayern in this season’s Bundesliga, while cap Mario Fernandes has made some waves at CSKA Moscow.
While Fernando Reges (Manchester City) missing out on the Copa roster was hardly a surprise, Chelsea’s Ramires, who won the Premier League title this term, and Lucas Leiva of Liverpool are experienced options that look odd omissions.
Sao Paulo’s Souza got all three of his Samba Boys caps to date under Dunga, who also ditched Inter playmaker Hernanes as soon as taking over.
While the Brazil boss has adjudged this tournament to come too soon for Benfica’s breakout star Anderson Talisca, punters need to keep an eye on him. We expect this talented youngster to make his senior international bow sooner or later, and play a big part in their World Cup campaign if his development continues apace.
Eagles teammate Jonas has revived his career since a free transfer to Lisbon’s Stadium of Light, scoring 28 times across all competitions, but that was not enough to earn a recall.
Andre Villas-Boas continues to get the best out of Hulk. Grabbing 20 goals from the wing at Zenit St Petersburg proves his pedigree with the Samba Boys World Cup flop once again excelling under the same coach he had in his Porto days.
Diminutive Shakhtar Donetsk star Bernard, meanwhile, was another victim of Dunga axing names from predecessor Scolari’s squad. Clubmate Luiz Adriano got some international exposure off the back of his nine Champions League group stage goals, but figures only on our roster.
Brazil are taking some big names from French champions PSG to the Copa, but Lucas Moura isn’t one of them. His guile would add something extra, and he may re-establish himself subsequently.
Finally, we’ve chosen a couple of uncapped strikers making waves in Spain and Turkey respectively. Elche top scorer Jonathas has been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid to replace rumoured Chelsea target Antoine Griezmann, after a dozen goals for the mid-table La Liga outfit.
Bursaspor marksman Fernandao, meanwhile, has struck 22 times in the Super Lig and we think he would be worth a look.