August 22, 2016 / 4:03 PM / a year ago

Tite brings changes for Brazil's Cup qualifiers

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Former Spurs midfielder Paulinho was the surprise inclusion in a revamped Brazil squad for crucial World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia next month, new coach Tite said on Monday.

Paulinho of China's Guangzhou Evergrande celebrates after he scored against Japan's Sanfrecce Hiroshima, while he shows off the uniform of the team's Zou Zheng during their Club World Cup third-place soccer match in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan, December 20, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Paulinho, who left Spurs for Guangzhou Evergrande last year, won the Copa Libertadores with Corinthians when Tite was in charge but has not played for Brazil since the 2014 World Cup.

Weverton, the uncapped keeper whose penalty save helped the Olympic side to their first gold medal against Germany on Saturday, was also included, along with six other Olympic medallists.

Shakhtar Donetsk striker Taison, Corinthians full back Fagner, and Rafael Carioca, defensive midfielder with Atletico Mineiro, were the other three uncapped players called up by the coach who will lead the team for the first time after replacing Dunga last month.

“It isn’t about renewal,” said Tite when asked about the widespread changes from the squad that went to the Centenary Copa America in June. “It’s about form.”

Brazil will face Ecuador in Quito on Sept. 1 and then Colombia in Manaus five days later.

The five-time champions currently sit sixth in the South American group for the 2018 World Cup, outside the qualifying places for Russia.

“There are two teams above us and they are two teams that are ready,” Tite said. “They have confidence and move the ball forward quickly. They will be very difficult matches.”

Brazil is the only country to have qualified for every World Cup but they are going through a poor phase, having failed to win a major tournament since the 2007 Copa America.

The top four teams in the South American group qualify automatically for Russia and the fifth-placed team go into an intercontinental play off.

Goalkeepers

Alisson (Roma)

Marcelo Grohe (Gremio)

Weverton (Atletico Paranaense)

 

Defenders

Daniel Alves (Juventus)

Fagner (Corinthians)

Filipe Luis (Athletico Madrid)

Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Paulinho of China's Guangzhou Evergrande celebrates after scoring against Mexico's Club America during their Club World Cup quarter-final soccer match in Osaka, western Japan, December 13, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Gil (Shandong Luneng)

Marquinhos (PSG)

Miranda (Inter Milan)

Rodrigo Caio (São Paulo)

 

Midfielders

Casemiro (Real Madrid)

Giuliano (Zenit)

Rafael Carioca (Atletico Mineiro)

Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande)

Lucas Lima (Santos)

Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan)

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)

Willian (Chelsea)

 

Forwards

Neymar (Barcelona)

Gabriel (Santos)

Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras)

Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk)

 

Editing by Alison Williams

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