Brazil names squad to face trauma and Messi in WC qualifiers

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October 22, 2016
Brazil's Neymar, (centre) fights for the ball with Bolivia's Ronald Raldes (right) during a 2018 World Cup qualifying match in Natal, Brazil, on October 6. Brazil won 5 - 0.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP):

Brazil not only faces Argentina in World Cup qualifying next month but also the ghost of the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi-finals, coach Tite said yesterday.

Brazil plays Lionel Messi's side in the same Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte on November 10. Five days later, Brazil is in Peru.

"The psychological work has been perfectly placed. We have to see that two years have passed. That time has brought us maturity," Tite said at his squad announcement. "It is the same stadium, but we have to know that this is a different moment."

There were few changes to the squad, which features the return of Bayern Munich winger Douglas Costa and Real Madrid defender Marcelo after injuries, and the absence of Chelsea midfielder Oscar.

Tite started out with convincing victories against Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Venezuela, which lifted Brazil from sixth position in South American qualifying to first. But his dream of coaching the five-time world champion will seem more real, he said, when they meet fifth-place Argentina and Messi.

"I am living a dream that every Brazilian coach has. To be in a Brazil v Argentina is a great honour," he said. "To face Messi and all his virtues is such a challenge."

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