RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - New Brazil manager Dunga has left out several big names from the World Cup, including Fred and Paulinho, in his first squad for next month’s friendlies against Colombia and Ecuador.
Spain-based fullbacks Dani Alves and Marcelo plus striker Jo joined forward Fred and midfielder Paulinho in being axed in the shake up when Dunga named a 22-man squad on Tuesday.
Hernanes and Dante also missed out, along with injured defender Thiago Silva, as 13 of Brazil’s World Cup squad were cut following Brazil’s embarrassing semi-final exit.
Among those drafted in to replace them are Liverpool midfielder Phillipe Coutinho, Napoli goalkeeper Rafael Cabral, and central defenders Miranda and Marquinhos. Porto fullbacks Danilo and Alex Sandro were also called up.
Everton Ribeiro and Ricardo Goulart, two midfielders who led Cruzeiro to the Brazilian first division title last year, were among the more surprising inclusions.
“Everton Ribeiro was selected because of his dribbling,” Dunga told reporters at a news conference.
“Today, with tight marking, two lines of four, there is very little space and it is important to have players who are creative and dribbling is his strong point.”
“Goulart is very strong, very competitive, he is good at getting in the opponents’ area, often taking defenders by surprise,” Dunga added.
Brazil will face Colombia in Miami on Sept. 5 and Ecuador in new York four days later.
The friendlies are the first since the World Cup ended in despair for the host nation. Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany in the semi-final in their heaviest ever World Cup defeat.
Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari resigned a few days later and was replaced by former combative Brazil midfielder Dunga who has returned for a second stint as head coach.
The World Cup-winning captain in 1994, Dunga was manager in 2010 when Brazil were knocked out of the tournament in the quarter-finals by the Netherlands.
Dunga stressed this was a new start but also told those left out not to be disappointed.
“Players that were in the World Cup and didn’t make this squad, the doors are still open to them,” he said. “No one is being excluded.”
Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Rafael Cabral (Napoli)Defenders: David Luiz (Paris St. Germain), Marquinhos (Paris St Germain), Gil (Corinthians), Miranda (Atletico Madrid), Maicon (Roma), Filipe Luís (Chelsea), Alex Sandro (Porto), Danilo (Porto)
Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (Vfl Wolfsburg), Elias (Corinthians), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Ramires (Chelsea), Everton Ribeiro (Cruzeiro), Oscar (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea), Ricardo Goulart (Cruzeiro), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
Forwards: Hulk (Zenit), Neymar (Barcelona), Diego Tardelli (Atletico Mineiro)
Writing by Andrew Downie in Sao Paulo; Editing by Ken Ferris