Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari announced his 23-man World Cup team and there weren't many surprises. Older stars like Ronaldinho and Kaka were left off the squad, but that was expected as Neymar and Oscar have taken control of the Selecao attack.
The World Cup team announcement is always a big deal in Brazil, but with the country hosting the tournament this summer, this was even bigger than normal. The event was a spectacle, with more than 700 accredited journalists and TV stations cutting into programming to show the announcement at a Rio de Janeiro concert hall.
This team will be very different from the one that played at the last World Cup with Julio Cesar, Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, Maicon and Ramies the only holdovers from the squad that played in South Africa. This team does have plenty of continuity and experience together though, with 16 players coming from last year's Confederations Cup winning side.
Scolari has been consistent with his team for more than a year and said he had picked 21 of his 23 players last week. He is expected to start Cesar in goal, with Alves, Silva, David Luiz and Marcelo in defense. Paulinho, Luis Gustavo and Oscar will make up the midfield, with Neymar, Hulk and Fred up front.
The Selecao already have a record five World Cup titles and are hoping to add a sixth this summer. Considering they are the No. 1-ranked team in the world and playing at home, they are certainly favored to do so.
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Atletico Mineiro)
Defenders: David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Henrique (Napoli), Maicon (Roma), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Maxwell (Paris Saint-Germain)
Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Paulinho (Tottenham), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Ramires (Chelsea), Oscar (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea), Hernanes (Inter Milan)
Forwards: Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Neymar (Barcelona), Jo (Atletico Mineiro), Fred (Fluminense)