Chelsea quartet included in Brazil World Cup squad
Fernandinho and Paulinho also included in 23 named by Felipe Scolari
Chelsea’s Brazilian players Willian, David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar have all been named in Felipe Scolari’s 23-man squad for the World Cup. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
David Luiz has been named among the defenders, while Oscar, Willian and Ramires are among the midfielders listed. They are joined by Manchester City’s Fernandinho and Tottenham’s Paulinho, to make it six English Premier League players in total and five of the seven midfielders named.
There is no place for Liverpool midfielders Philipps Coutinho and Lucas Leiva, while veteran forwards Kaka and Ronaldinho failed to make the cut.
Sao Paulo’s on-loan Corinthians forward Alexandre Pato and Paris St Germain winger Lucas Moura were also overlooked, with Scolari keeping faith with most of the players who triumphed at last year’s Confederations Cup on home soil.
Napoli defender Henrique was the only surprise inclusion in a squad that will be captained by Paris St Germain centre half Thiago Silva.
Henrique, who has played just 71 minutes at international level but worked under Scolari at Palmeiras, won out over Atletico Madrid’s in-form defender Miranda and PSG’s youngster Marquinhos for the spot as fourth central defender.
Scolari admitted it was the defence that caused him the biggest headaches as he finalised his squad.
“I had discussions with all my team to know their opinion,” said Scolari.
“We had to study that until the last minute, because we had some details to consider. And we finally chose Henrique. I trust in him and I like his football very much.”
A delighted Henrique described his inclusion in the squad as a dream come true for him and the highlight of his career to date.
The 27-year-old said: “This is the greatest time of my career, no doubt about it.
“I’m thrilled; representing your country in a World Cup, it’s the dream for any player. Even more so playing it in your own land.”
Silva knows what it would mean to lift the trophy in front of their own fans and hopes the supporters can play their part.
He said: “I know it’s a big responsibility, and I’m prepared for the challenge. It’s an honour for me to wear the armband and represent the national team in a World Cup in my own country.
“With the massive support of our people we will be even stronger as we chase our targets. We’re very confident in this team, but the 12th player, the Brazilian fans, will be extremely important in our battles for the cup.”
The team has won 13 of their last 14 matches and is favourite to win the first World Cup to be played in Brazil since 1950.
The players will meet up on May 26th in Rio de Janeiro and play two friendlies against Panama and Serbia before opening their World Cup campaign against Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12th. Brazil will also face Mexico and Cameroon in Group A.
Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Julio César (Toronto), Victor (Atlético Mineiro).
Midfield: Fernandinho (Manchester City), Hernanes (Inter Milan), Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Oscar (Chelsea), Paulinho (Tottenham), Ramires (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea).
Forwards: Bernard (Shakhtar), Fred (Fluminense), Hulk (Zenit), Jô (Atlético Mineiro), Neymar (Barcelona).