Tite counts on young guns to take Brazil to World Cup
RIO DE JANEIRO
NEW Brazil head coach Tite on Monday named five uncapped players in his first 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia next month.
With several Europe-based players deemed not fit enough, he has turned to youth with Gabriel Jesus, Taison, Rafael Carioca, Fagner and goalkeeper Weverton the players selected, who are yet to play senior international football.
Manchester City close-season signing Jesus, who is back on loan at former club Palmeiras, and Weverton, who made a crucial save in the penalty shoot-out victory over Germany in the Olympic final last week, are two of seven Rio gold medallists included.
Barcelona forward Neymar, who scored the winning spot-kick at the Maracana as Brazil's youngsters banished the memories of their 7-1 semi-final humiliation at the hands of Germany in the 2014 World Cup, has been told by club coach Luis Enrique that he can stay in Brazil until after the qualifiers.
Five-time world champions Brazil are struggling to qualify for the 2018 edition in Russia.
They are in sixth place in the South American standings after six matches.
They take on Ecuador in Quito on Sept 1, before facing Colombia five days later in Manaus.