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Danilo, Fagner named in Brazil's 23-man World Cup squad

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-05-15 09:15
Manchester City's Danilo celebrates scoring their first goal during the match between Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion, Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain, May 9, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Danilo and Fagner were selected to replace injured right-back Dani Alves as Brazil coach Tite announced his 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

As expected, forward Neymar was included as he completes the final stage of his recovery from a foot injury, while Shakhtar Donetsk pair Fred and Taison were among few surprises.

Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said Neymar is making "great progress" after undergoing surgery to repair a broken metatarsal in early March.

"We are observing him closely," Lasmar told a press conference in Rio de Janeiro. "He will start training progressively. He can now begin training with the ball and we expect him to participate in our [pre-World Cup] friendlies."

Alves was ruled out of the June 14-July 15 tournament last week after suffering a right anterior cruciate ligament injury in Paris Saint-Germain's 2-0 French Cup final victory over Les Herbiers.

Manchester City's Danilo, who didn't play a single minute in Brazil's 18-match World Cup qualifying campaign, and Fagner, who is recovering from a thigh injury, were chosen ahead of Bayern Munich's Rafinha for the right-back role.

"Dani is a great player and leader and we are going to miss him, but we have other options," Tite said.

The 56-year-old manager admitted that some of the players chosen - such as Fagner and Taison - were favored by having played under him at club level.

"I think it had an impact but I also know how to evaluate other points - whether they are technical, physical, emotional or tactical - to make a fair judgement," he said. "And sometimes it goes beyond numbers, it has to do with feeling..."

Brazil will begin their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on June 17 and will also meet Costa Rica and Serbia in the group stage.

The Selecao will prepare for the tournament with friendlies against Croatia and Austria on June 3 and 10, respectively.

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