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Brazil will have to do without PSG star Neymar

Without the injured Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar, the Brazilian national soccer team will play the first World Cup qualifiers of 2022 in South America.

“My attention and concern is his good health,” said national coach Tite in Rio de Janeiro.

Tite did not call up newcomers to the first squad of the year at the World Cup in Qatar. The former Bundesliga players Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa) and Matheus Cunha (Atlético Madrid), promoted Raphinha (Leeds United) and veteran Dani Alves (FC Barcelona) are back.

Ex-Hoffenheimer Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), who is fighting for his form after an injury, is missing. Tite also revealed that Renan Lodi (Atlético Madrid) didn’t stand a chance because he’s not yet fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Brazil meets Ecuador in Quito on January 27th and Paraguay in Belo Horizonte on February 1st (both local times). In the South American qualifiers for the World Cup this winter, Brazil (35 points) are leading ahead of Argentina (29), who have also already qualified. Ecuador is third.

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