Fake Eric Cantona

Scolari Names World Cup Squad

Created on May. 07, 2014 7:24 PM EST

Today Scolari released the selection for the Selecão, Brazil's National Football Team. Gambling houses had set the odds at 3:1 long ago for Brazil to take the home pitch advantage all the way. That number has not changed since the squad list was released.

The squad list:
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Gremio)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (Inter), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Maxwell (Paris Saint-Germain), David Luiz (Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Dante (Bayern Munich), Henrique (Napoli)

Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Paulinho (Tottenham), Ramires (Chelsea), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Oscar (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea), Hernanes (Inter), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Forwards: Fred (Fluminense), Neymar (Barcelona), Hulk (Zenit), Jo (Atletico Mineiro)

Goal Keeper:
Julio Cesar deserves to be playing for a top flight club. When he moved to QPR, in the "mid-table-or-bust" transactions which rendered QPR as a colossal bust last season, Julio Cesar became the best player on a terrible team. Battle hardened, Cesar displayed goal keeping skills that could win a CL trophy, as he did in 2010 for Inter Milan against Bayern Munich. His selection should surprise no one.

Cesar will be supported by footballing household names Dani Alves and Maicon, who are both on the wrong side of 30. If the year was 2010, this selections would make more sense. But it is not. The right flank will present a weakness going into the cup. Brazil share their group with Croatia, who have some decent wingers possessing pace and creativity. And Mario Mandžukić could be deadly front. As such, there may be problems. 

Thiago Silva, who is the best center defense in the world currently, will be solid whether paired with Henrique or Dante. The risk factor is David Luiz, who has never given any Chelsea coach faith in his abilities, ever. Unless that ability is scoring own-goals, which he is terrific at. Who would be better? Marquinhos, of course. Marquinhos moved to PSG last summer for £30m so that he could partner with Thiago Silva. He's young, and will be part of the next Selecão. David Luiz will not. Neither will Dante. And neither are as good as Marquinhos.

Anyhow, whatever. The left flank is solid with Maxwell and Marcelo. 

The midfield creates the most damning questions about the potential of this team. Oscar and Willian have never shown themselves to be team players. They are selfish. Oscar was always the lesser-Ganso. And Ganso is not on the team. Why? Scolari chose every Chelsea player he could. Maybe because he forgot that Roman Abramovich fired him. Or maybe because Scolari is not a man. Not sure. Safer to assume he forgot that he managed Chelsea at one point. No big deal, since most Chelsea fans forgot that too.

To be fair to Chelsea fans, Ramires is a player who knows about teamwork. He contributes and works hard in every match. And David Luiz would be a perfectly fine defensive midfielder. In football, players will naturally move into their natural positions. Everyone knows that David Luiz is actually a midfielder except David himself. 

Kaká is out, despite being a key contributor at AC Milan in his rebirth, since leaving Madrid. So is Philippe Coutinho. Both exceptions are eyebrow raising, as both players are team players. 

Expect to see more Hulk not winning games for his team. At one point Hulk was highly tipped to move to West London to join Chelsea. Much was spoken about his aplomb for a player of his girth. Yet he has never performed on a big stage. He is as big as his disappointments. 

Neymar is solid, terrific, and full of imagination. 

Fred? Good. Loved him at Lyon, back when Lyon was good. He's reliable. Knows his position well. While he was with Lyon they were always the top of Ligue 1. He left, and so did the dominance. That's not to say he was the dominating force at Lyon. He was there with Benzema, Milan Baros and Ben Arfa. It was just a great team.

Jo? He subbed at Man City long ago. Then he moved to Everton and was a sub there too. He is a superb bench warmer, and we can expect to see him on the bench with his floppy fro, next to David Luiz and Willian - Brazil can be proud of their "Sideshow Bobs." 

So I am left wondering, "where is Pato?" Are his knees still hurting or something? Pato was a complete stud. Mano Menezes thought otherwise, and shipped him away from Corinthians to São Paulo. Pato has been able to appear only a handful of times since. His form is dubious. In that way, Manezes, fresh from being sacked as manager of the Brazilian national team, got some kind of weird revenge. 

And Leandro Damião? He was tipped to move to a big European team last year, but he opted not to because he was getting paid so much in Brazil that there was no reason to leave. Damião's form have spiraled downward since 2013. After refusing to move to Tottenham, he stopped being the player that Tottenham wanted. Internacional sold him to Santos. He hasn't scored since.

There is always some anger when these squads are released; especially when the world is being cheated out of the best Brazil has to offer. 
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