Neymar, Philippe Coutinho Lead Brazil's World Cup 2018 Provisional Squad Roster

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMay 14, 2018

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 10: Philippe Coutinho #11, Neymar #10 and Gabriel Jesus #9 of Brazil celebrates a scored goal against Argentina during a match between Brazil and Argentina as part 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifier at Mineirao stadium on November 10, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)
Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar and Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho feature as headliners in Brazil's provisional squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, although Juventus left-back Alex Sandro misses out.

Fox Soccer posted confirmation of Brazil's provisional 23-man squad on Monday, with just a month remaining before the World Cup finals kick off in Russia on June 14:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Barring injury, here are the 23 players that will represent the Seleçao in Russia. 🇧🇷 https://t.co/tawGKYwT6K

PSG are also represented by centre-back duo Thiago Silva and Marquinhos. Real Madrid have two stars in the side with Marcelo and Casemiro, while Paulinho joins Barca team-mate Coutinho in the line-up.

No club has more players in the Brazil squad than Premier League champions Manchester City, with four of their stars named by manager Tite: forward Gabriel Jesus, goalkeeper Ederson, midfielder Fernandinho and versatile defender Danilo.

Of that quartet, Fernandinho was the only player to have played in the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, and football writer Roberto Rojas highlighted the meteoric rise of Jesus in particular since then:

Roberto Rojas @RobertoRojas97

Gabriel Jesus in 2014: a 17-year-old youth player at Palmeiras’ academy and painting the streets in his native Brazil. Gabriel Jesus in 2018: a 21-year-old star at Manchester City and surely the starting striker for his NT in his maiden World Cup. Dreams do come true! 🇧🇷⚽️ https://t.co/mKesu0K8Z4

The squad named on Monday will be the squad that travels to Russia next month provided no substantial injuries force Tite to make changes.

The Premier League is also the best-represented division in the squad as the additions of Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino and Chelsea winger Willian bring its count to six. La Liga boasts five players in the setup, and Barcelona and Real account for two apiece.

Blogger Hesham Bilal-Hafiz noted the omissions of Juve defender Sandro and AS Monaco midfielder Fabinho, commenting on the transfer implications that come with their not travelling to Russia:

Hesham Bilal-Hafiz @hesham786

Someone’s heard that Fabinho and Alex Sandro not going to the World Cup. 👀 https://t.co/3MmkLM5MAg

Sandro had a difficult start to the season and was out of the Juventus XI for a time, while the departure of several key Monaco stars last summer has seen some of those who remained—Fabinho included—struggle to hit the same heights.

Other notable absences from the line-up include Chelsea centre-back David Luiz, who has been out of action with a knee injury since February, and Schalke defender Naldo, who has had a superb season in the Bundesliga.

Pedro Geromel (Gremio), third-choice goalkeeper Cassio and defender Fagner (both Corinthians) are the only players in the squad currently plying their trade in the Brasileiro Serie A.


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