Alisson focused on Brazil's World Cup quest as transfer talk rumbles

Alisson focused on Brazil's World Cup quest as transfer talk rumbles

It was Neymar's 55th goal in a Brazil shirt, allowing him to draw level with Romario on his country's list of all-time leading scorers - only Pele and Ronaldo have more goals for their country.

The most extreme examples were the Confederations Cup final against Spain in 2013 when Brazil battered their opponents with 26 fouls and the infamous World Cup quarter-final against Colombia in 2014, where they gave away 31 free kicks.

Their poor run in the 2016 Copa America meant former World Cup victor Dunga was sacked as coach, and replaced with Tite shortly before the 2016 Olympics in Rio, where the football team won the country's first ever gold medal.

The Barca man laughed off the birthday treatment, in keeping with the high spirits of the Brazilian camp as they head into the World Cup which has seen them go undefeated in their last 11 games. He started in the second half in the first game (against Croatia), he helped us, he lost the fear to play.

Group C lacks the star power at the top that Group E boasts, but it still features a hardened group of teams.

Next up for Brazil is the game against Costa Rica, as the Central Americans will be out to prove they were no fluke back in 2014.

Brazil have not lost since June 2017, a run of 10 games, and have kept 16 clean sheets in 21 games since Tite took over in June 2016.

His fellow attackers Gabriel Jesus and Coutinho also scored in a match where Brazil dominated Austria that has been on an eight match unbeaten streak. Juan Camilo Zuniga planted a knee in Neymar's back, fracturing one of his vertebrae. The exclusion of David Luiz was the biggest news coming out from the selection of the squad, but his lack of action last season made no one raise an eyebrow on his exclusion.

Brazil will travel from Vienna to its World Cup base in Sochi, though it won't play any of its group matches near the Black Sea resort.

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"They've two brilliant goalkeepers, they've got defenders and they have that array of attacking talent with Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho", Owen told the Daily Mail.

"I must acknowledge the fact that, unfortunately, our team has not achieved big results in recent times", the Russian president said last week.

Tite's team selection has been to form a team that could be viewed as complete as opposed to an attacking or a defensive unit.

For the 2018 World Cup, it's easy to pick out the favourites. It was as if this team lacked any direction, leadership and tactical nous.

Tite was fresh blood injected in this frailing Brazilian squad, which was torn between traditional tactics and expertise. Brazil then have strength in depth and with the ball flying around the pitch they may genuinely win a World Cup for the first time in Europe since the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.

"Gradually he became more confident".

On Goal.com Brasil, Raísa Simplicio also noted Coutinho's importance in branding him the "ritmista" of the national team - a samba term given to one who dictates the rhythm of the beat and a specialist in percussion instruments - who "shone like a maestro" and is prepared for his role at the World Cup.

But Neymar got his goal when he latched onto Willian's pass and stunning footwork saw him slot in after 63 minutes.

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