Will Brazil be most Reds' second-favourite nation?

Monday 12 September 2022 09:00

Football fans from every era have developed a soft spot for Brazil when it comes to World Cup tournaments.

Different generations will recall the 1958 winners, featuring a young Pele, the team that triumphed four years later minus their talismanic forward, the ultra-entertaining 1970 vintage, the under-achieving but still magnificent 1982 side, Bebeto and Romario spearheading the 1994 victors, plus the way Ronaldo and Rivaldo sparkled in 2002.

And this time around, during a winter finals, the Selecao are bound to have plenty of non-Brazilian support from Manchester United's huge worldwide fanbase.

Indeed, the question is whether Tite's men will be most Reds' second-favourite nation, apart from their own (or their first if their country hasn't qualified), when the action gets under way in Qatar this November.

The bookmakers' favourites have named their last squad before the global event takes place, with friendlies against African sides Ghana and Tunisia being staged during the international break this month. 

With a wealth of talent at his disposal, coach Tite has opted to include each of our four Brazilians.

Casmeiro and Fred are regular partners in Brazil's midfield and started together at United for the first time in Thursday night's Europa League tie against Real Sociedad at Old Trafford.

Alex Telles departed on loan for Sevilla in La Liga and has got the nod in the latest squad to replace Guilherme Arana, who is injured, as Alex Sandro's deputy. Nottingham Forest new boy Renan Lodi is another competitor for the left-back role.

Antony signed for Erik ten Hag's side before the transfer deadline and, among the galaxy of attacking stars available, he is selected for the friendlies as he bids to further his international experience. The former Ajax winger made a goalscoring start to life in Manchester, with the opener in our win over Arsenal.

A trio of men from the Premier League leaders, beaten 3-1 at Old Trafford, have not made the latest group with Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus all left out.

Aston Villa's Philippe Coutinho has also been excluded for the games against Ghana in Le Havre on 23 September and Tunisia in Paris on 27 September.

Brazil's next fixtures after that will be at the World Cup finals, where they'll meet Serbia in Group G on 24 November, before further games with Switzerland and Cameroon.