Dunga runs rule over Roberto Firmino, Douglas Costa, Luiz Adriano
There’s a five-man strong Premier League contingent in Dunga’s latest Brazil squad for November friendlies in Turkey and Austria, but there is an eye-catching first-ever senior call-up for Hoffenheim attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino.
Samba Boys boss Dunga and predecessor Luiz Felipe Scolari both previously resisted suggested commentators that the 23-year-old should receive international recognition. Firmino was named Bundesliga breakthrough talent of the year for 2013/14, after scoring 16 goals and laying on a dozen assists.
Having also ignored the claims of the Brazilian contingent playing in the Ukrainian Premier League before, Shakhtar Donetsk attacking duo Douglas Costa and Luiz Adriano are also named for the first time.
Costa was linked with a Premier League move over the summer, but namesake Diego joined Chelsea – a player that turned his back on Brazil and opted for representing Spain. Adriano, meanwhile, who is not to be confused with former Inter Milan front Adriano Leite Ribeiro, recently scored a five-goal haul in a Champions League group game against Belarusian club BATE Borisov.
Alongside Chelsea trio Filipe Luis, Oscar and Willian; Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho and Liverpool creative force Philippe Coutinho, there is a place on Dunga’s roster for PSG attacker Lucas Moura. He could earn his first cap in over a year, and converted two spot kicks for Laurent Blanc’s boys in their recent Ligue 1 win over Bordeaux.
Parisian teammate Thiago Silva returns after injury, but it is understood Dunga is likely to retain talisman Neymar as Samba Boys skipper. David Luiz and Marquinhos complete the PSG foursome called.
Fiorentina keeper Neto is the only other uncapped player included by Dunga, who will be assessing his options between the sticks. Jefferson, who has kept Brazil’s goal since the World Cup, is not named, leaving Neto to fight it out with Napoli’s Rafael Cabral and Valencia custodian Diego Alves for the number one jersey.
Atletico Madrid centre half Joao Miranda, Porto full backs Danilo and Alex Sandro, and CSKA Moscow’s Mario Fernandes complete the defensive selections. Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg) and Romulo (Spartak Moscow) are joined by Real Madrid-owned Casemiro as anchorman options. Brazil are 10/1 chances to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia.