Neymar Brazil FIFA World Cup
Photo: SI

Coach Tite announced his roster on Friday, saying that Neymar will return to Brazil for the remaining two World Cup qualifiers after missing the national team’s first two matches of the year due to injury.

As he returns to the Selecao after recovering from an ankle injury, the Paris Saint-Germain star will be trying to put behind him PSG’s humbling Champions League loss at Real Madrid on Wednesday. The five-time world winners will face Chile in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium on March 24 and Bolivia in La Paz on March 29 after qualifying for Qatar in November.

On March 24, group leader Brazil takes on sixth-placed Chile in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, where both teams have already qualified for the World Cup finals. The Seleço would travel to Bolivia five days later.

The Brazilian soccer association also announced on Friday that the team will play five friendlies before the World Cup against yet-to-be-determined opponents.

“He’s got extraordinary quality, but he’s coming off a natural process for anyone who gets injured. He’s in the process of searching to get his top form back,” Tite said.

Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli and Juventus midfielder Arthur, who has returned to the team after a year away, are among the new names on Tite’s list. Richarlison, an Everton striker, has also returned to the squad.

Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City and Gabigol of Flamengo were left out. Brazil leads South American qualifying with 39 points, compared to 35 for Argentina in second place. To make up for a sixth-round tie that was controversially called off by Brazilian health authorities due to alleged Argentine violations of Covid-19 standards, the two teams must play a yet-to-be-scheduled rematch.

Brazil’s squad for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers:


Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras)


Dani Alves (Sao Paulo), Danilo (Juventus), Alex Telles (Manchester United), Guilherme Arana (Atletico Mineiro), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Chelsea)


Casemiro (Real Madrid), Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle), Arthur (Juventus), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fred (Manchester United), Lucas Paqueta (Lyon), Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa)


Antony (Ajax), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Raphinha (Leeds United), Richarlison (Everton), Rodrygo (Real Madrid)

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