(FILES) This file photo taken on November 16, 2018 shows Brazil’s striker Neymar runing with the ball during the international friendly football match between Brazil and Uruguay at The Emirates Stadium in London. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

Brazil coach Tite kept faith with a troubled Neymar on Friday, choosing him to lead the Selecao as they launch their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign next month.

Young Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes comes into the squad and could make his international debut while Real Madrid striker Rodrygo also returns.

The five-time world champions play Bolivia in Sao Paulo on October 9, then travel to Lima to face Peru four days later. The matches were originally scheduled for March, but were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The return to international play could be a welcome break for Neymar, who has had a tumultuous time since losing with the Champions League final with Paris Saint-Germain.

First he had to quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus and then, when he returned to action, was banned for two matches Wednesday for his role in a brawl at the end of PSG’s 1-0 loss to Marseille.

The French league is investigating the star striker’s claim that Spanish defender Alvaro Gonzalez taunted him with racist insults.

Neymar’s former PSG teammate Thiago Silva, who signed with Chelsea last month, also got the call from Tite, even though the center-back will be 37 by the time of the World Cup in Qatar.

But Tite dropped regular squad members including Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson.

He also held off calling up injured captain Dani Alves, 37, naming 19-year-old Gabriel Menino of Palmeiras instead.

Brazil were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Belgium in the 2018 World Cup.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool/ENG), Santos (Athletico Paranaense) Weverton (Palmeiras)

Defenders: Danilo (Juventus/ITA), Gabriel Menino (Palmeiras), Alex Telles (FC Porto/POR), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Thiago Silva (Chelsea/ENG), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Felipe (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Rodrigo Caio (Flamengo)

Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid/ESP), Fabinho (Liverpool/ENG), Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon/FRA), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa/ENG), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona/ESP), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo)

Forwards: Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City/ENG), Rodrygo (Real Madrid/ESP), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Everton (Benfica/POR), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool/ENG), Richarlison (Everton/ENG)


Read Next


EDITORS’ PICK


MOST READ

Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Neymar to lead Brazil in World Cup qualifying