Brazil Squad Power Rankings for World Cup 2014

Robbie BlakeleySpecial to Bleacher ReportFebruary 27, 2014

Brazil Squad Power Rankings for World Cup 2014

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    Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images

    Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has named his squad for the country's friendly encounter with South Africa on March 5 in Johannesburg. 

    Amongst the names is an idea of who Big Phil will be relying on come the big kick-off on June 12 against Croatia in Sao Paulo. 

    Next week's match will be the final international before Scolari will name his final 23-man squad on May 7. Here, we take a look at the winners, the losers and the yet-to-be-decided before the final cut is made. 

     

JEFFERSON

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    Buda Mendes/Getty Images

    Position: Goalkeeper

    Club: Botafogo

    The big question about the Botafogo stopper revolves around his role within the squad, not his involvement in the tournament. Having receiving a call-up for the South Africa game, he will be a shoe in for the final squad. But as Julio Cesar finally puts an end to his extended sabbatical in London, can Jefferson oust Big Phil's known first choice following consistently excellent performances for Botafogo?

    WORLD CUP STATUS: BAGS PACKED

     

RAFINHA

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Position: Right-back

    Club: Bayern Munich

    Rafinha has earned a late chance to prove his international credentials. Scolari has so far favoured Daniel Alves and Maicon as his two options for the right-back berth. Whilst it is still more than likely the Barcelona man will be lining up in the World Cup opener against Croatia on June 12, a shining display from Rafinha could edge him ahead of Maicon at the final hurdle for a place in the squad.

    WORLD CUP STATUS: AIRPORT LOUNGE

DEDE

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    Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

    Position: Centre-back

    Club: Cruzeiro

    One of the vacancies in the Brazil camp is the fourth central defender. And Scolari has made no indications of who will fill the spot after only selecting three zagueiros for next month's match. But Dede, who won the Brazilian title with Cruzeiro last year, is one name in the hat. Rever was picked ahead of him for the Confederations Cup, but Dede, enormously imposing and a tower of strength, is bursting with potential. He is a possible successor to captain Thiago Silva.

    WORLD CUP STATUS: AIRPORT LOUNGE

LUIZ GUSTAVO

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    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    Position: Midfield

    Club: Wolfsburg

    The Wolfsburg enforcer has made the holding midfield position his own. Gustavo performed excellently during the Confederations Cup and has never looked back. The 26-year-old moved to Wolfsburg to play regular football before the World Cup and has played himself into the side. The Brazilian midfield is now unimaginable without him.

    WORLD CUP STATUS: BAGS PACKED

HERNANES

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    Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

    HERNANES

    Position: Midfield

    Club: Internazionale

    Part of the country's successful Confederations Cup campaign last June, the former Sao Paulo player made a deadline day switch from Lazio to Inter to try and lead their charge towards Champions League qualification.

    He however missed their last league encounter through injury and has been omitted by Scolari for the latest friendly, with Fernandinho and Ramires called up whilst Hernanes remains in recovery. He is in with an outside shot of making the World Cup cut but hopes may be fading fast with the excellent form of the Premier League pair.

    WORLD CUP STATUS: AIRPORT LOUNGE

BERNARD

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    Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press

    Position: Forward

    Club: Shakhtar Donetsk

    Like a favoured son, Bernard has been championed by Scolari since the start of his second tenure as national coach. Bernard's trickery and talent were prominent during the 2012 Brazilian season, as well as in Atletico Mineiro's run to the 2013 Copa Libertadores title. He is yet to burst onto the international scene with the same dazzling effect as he had on South American defences, but his involvement during the World Cup is not in any doubt.

    An exciting option to have from the bench.

    WORLD CUP STATUS: BAGS PACKED

KAKA

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Position: Forward

    Club: AC Milan

    The 2007 World Player of the Year returned to the San Siro in a bid to rejuvenate his World Cup hopes.

    Despite an encouraging start to life back in Italy, the 31-year-old looks set to miss out on a fourth World Cup appearance.

    The likes of Oscar, Willian and Neymar are the face of a brave new Brazil under Felipao, with no space amongst the 23 for the vast experience of a man who has lifted a World Cup and a Champions League in his glittering career. Brazil may rue not being able to count on an intelligent creative force who has seen it, done it, bought the proverbial T-shirt.

    WORLD CUP STATUS: OVER AND OUT

FRED

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    Buda Mendes/Getty Images

    Position: Striker

    Club: Fluminense

    Gained the trust of Scolari almost immediately. Fred scored within a matter of minutes after coming on during Big Phil's first game against England and has never looked back.

    He was Brazil's leading scorer during the Confederations Cup with five, and, despite a horrendous run of injuries and form, should be leading the line in June and July. This year he has netted only twice and missed two penalties, but he has been given another chance ahead of alternative suitors to face South Africa.

    WORLD CUP STATUS: BAGS PACKED