New Brazil manager Dunga has named his first squad since taking over for Luiz Felipe Scolari, per 101 Great Goals. This is the group Dunga will use to try to get off to a winning start against Colombia.
One of the main headlines is an inclusion for Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho:
Coutinho has been called up to Dunga's first Brazil squad. He's won just 1 cap for his country, way back in 2010. pic.twitter.com/8hoa6tWRj1— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 19, 2014
Coutinho is a mercurial player, blessed with all the flair many associate with the best traditions of Brazilian international football. However, Scolari didn't exactly favour those type of players.
Instead, the pragmatic veteran coach opted for functional, workmanlike midfielders, such as Tottenham Hotspur's Paulinho. The result was an oddly cautious team that didn't suit the type of expansive football fans of the national team want to see.
Of course, Scolari's defensive structure was obliterated in the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final by Germany. The quick-breaking and free-flowing Germans simply bypassed Scolari's midfield destroyers en route to a 7-1 annihilation.
Obviously anxious to erase the memory of that catastrophic failure, Dunga has removed a significant portion of Scolari's selections:
OUT of Brazil squad: Julio Cesar, Victor, Dani Alves, Marcelo, Dante, Maxwell, Henrique, Paulinho, Hernanes, Bernard, Jo.— Rupert Fryer (@Rupert_Fryer) August 19, 2014
The most notable withdrawals are strikers Fred and Jo. Neither was a popular choice, but Scolari insisted on relying on them.
Dunga will now turn to Diego Tardelli to help Neymar and Hulk, a surprise escapee of the cuts, along the front:
However, it's also significant that Dunga hasn't abandoned a rugged enforcer like Wolfsburg's Luiz Gustavo. But he has dispatched Inter Milan pass master Hernanes, and also neglected brittle but ingenious Sao Paulo FC playmaker Paulo Henrique Ganso.
That's proof that Dunga isn't quite ready to abandon the defensive attributes Scolari seemed to prize above all else.
One of the more interesting aspects of Dunga's inaugural selection is how it's weighted toward domestic-based players. While Scolari cast his net primarily across Europe's top leagues, Dunga has ensured plenty of home talent will earn caps.
That could be an attempt to foster a more united squad to engender greater continuity on the pitch:
Leagues with most Brazilians called up by Dunga: 1. Brasileirão & EPL: 6 2. Portugal, Ligue 1, Série A & La Liga: 2 3. Russia & BuLi: 1.— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats) August 19, 2014
One chosen home-based player is Corinthians' Everton Ribeiro. The 25-year-old attacking midfielder is one of the trickiest playmakers in Brazil.
Similar to Coutinho, Ribeiro is the type of player unlikely to have been favoured by Scolari. His inclusion shows Dunga is at least thinking about moving toward a more adventurous team.
It's significant that Dunga seems to have done all he can to distance himself from the Scolari era. That's understandable when considering how that tenure finished.
But distance won't be easy to achieve when Colombia are the first opponents. They were quarter-final opposition for Scolari's Brazil at the World Cup.
The game essentially boiled down to an ugly succession of fouls from both teams. Brazil eventually won, 2-1.
Brazil had played in the first half in the way the world wants Brazil to play. They had to find other qualities in that tense, choppy finale and their methods – victory at any means, to put it bluntly – will not appeal to everyone, after a match that brought a tournament high of 54 fouls.
Now is a good time for Dunga's new-look squad to show this is a Brazil team ready to return to a more stylish brand of winning.
With players like Coutinho and Ribeiro set to be given a chance, such a return is a real possibility.