Rio de Janeiro, March 5 (IANS) The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has announced the 22 players called upon to play friendlies in March as preparation for the Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro in August.
The team was selected on Friday by national coach Carlos Verri ‘Dunga’, his assistant Audrey Lopes and the coach that will be in charge during the friendlies, Rogerio Micales, reports Xinhua.
The surprise addition to the team was attacking midfielder Rafinha Alcantara who currently plays for Spain’s Barcelona. His selection was unexpected as he is still recovering from a serious knee injury he sustained in 2015.
According to the CBF, the technical team are awaiting further news on Rafinha’d recovery from Barcelona and whether the Spanish side will allow the 23-year-old to play in the friendlies against Nigeria and South Africa.
Apart from Rafinha, another nine players that currently play for European sides were selected. Andreas Pereira (Manchester United, England), Felipe Anderson (Lazio, Italy), Rodrigo Ely (AC Milan, Italy) and Wallace and Fabinho, who both play for Monaco, are among them.
The players will meet up in the Brazilian city of Vitoria in the southeastern state of Espirito Santo on March 20. Four days later the team will receive Nigeria. Then they will move to the city of Maceio in the northeastern state of Alagoas to face South Africa on March 27.