Manchester United Casemiro and Anthony were left out of coach Dorival Junior's 24-man squad for Copa America 2024

Brazil has officially announced the 23-man squad for the highly anticipated 2024 Copa America competition.
Brazil v Switzerland: Group G - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Brazil v Switzerland: Group G - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 / Matthias Hangst/GettyImages

Nine times Copa America champion Brazil has named its squad for the 2024 Copa America, and shockingly, there is no Casemiro, Anthony, or Richarlison among the traveling party. Coach Dorival Junior may slap a few fans in the face. Still, on the other hand, his choice of taking 17-year-old Endrick on his international debut tournament may have them smiling from ear to ear, especially with the absence of an injured Neymar Junior.  

Brazil was beaten in the 2021 Copa America Finals 1-0 by Argentina and was knocked out of World Cup 2022 at the quarter-finals stage by Croatia 4-2 on penalties. The Selecao had a torrid tail end of 2023 where they lost three consecutive 2026 World Cup qualifiers to Uruguay, Colombia and defending World Cup champions Argentina, respectively. However, they started 2024 sprightly with a 1-0 win over England at Wembley courtesy of an Endrick’s strike and a pulsating 2-2 draw with Spain at the Bernabeu; Endrick was among the scorers again.  

Each of the 16 teams at the tournament must name provisional squads of up to 55 players for pre-tournament training camps and friendly matches. These groups must have a minimum of 35 players and contain at least four goalkeepers. The final rosters, which must be confirmed by June 12, will comprise 23 players. At least three of these players must be goalkeepers, and they must all be selected from the provisional squad, except in exceptional circumstances. 

Of the 23-man provisional squad for the tournament, nine players are from the English Premier League, the most from the top five leagues across Europe.  

GK - Alisson (Liverpool) 

A beautifully decorated keeper both at the club level and the international level. Klopp bought Alisson for his speed and timing when rushing off his line and his ability to clear or challenge the ball with his feet outside the area. He is known to get to the ground quickly to collect or dodge the ball inside the box. His quick and expert distribution allows him to kick-start an attack from the back with his hands and feet, and he can launch attacks or pick out midfielders with his long goal kicks.  

Alisson joined Liverpool in 2018 from AS Roma and has captured five trophies, including the UEFA Champions League and the English Premier League. Alisson is one shy of 200 appearances with Liverpool with 85 clean sheets and 1 goal and three assists. In his first two seasons, he won the Golden Glove award and the Premier League, proving to be a rock between the sticks for Jergen Klopp’s team. Alisson has proven himself internationally by representing Brazil at all levels under 17, under 20, and senior levels. He has 63 caps, has played in two Copa America tournaments, and played a pivotal role in them winning the competition in 2019. He has won the 2024 EFL Cup and sits third on the EPL table, fighting for the number one spot with Manchester City’s Ederson.  

GK – Ederson (Manchester City) 

Ederson has now won the Premier League title in five of six seasons at the Etihad Stadium and is the current leader in the EPL on route to another title, proving to be the ideal keeper for Pep Guardiola's system - brilliant on the ball, alert to danger, and capable of making crucial saves. Ederson has made 249 appearances, 129 clean sheets, and three assists for Manchester City. Ederson is a ball-playing goalkeeper who is brilliant with his feet and hands, which makes him an attacking threat.  

Ederson was involved in the most of any goalkeeper in the Premier League last season, leading to 54 shots, more than any of his rivals. Like his rival in goal, Alison, Ederson has a Champions League trophy. During his European exploits under severe pressure from opponents, Ederson has completed 75% of his passes, the best rate of any goalkeeper to attempt at least ten such passes. In addition, he made 28 saves of the 31 on-target shots he faced in the Champions League, for a save percentage of 87.1% - the highest of the 30 goalkeepers to face 20 or more such shots. Coach Dorival Junior will have a sleepless night choosing his starting goalkeeper, bearing in mind that Ederson has only made 25 international appearances.   

CB - Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal) 

Gabriel has matured into a rock-solid beast at the heart of the Arsenal defense. Arsenal signed Gabriel in the summer window 2020 from Lille. Since his arrival in north London, Gabriel has faced much criticism due to some underwhelming performances. He needed help finding footing alongside fellow Brazilian David Luiz, Rob Holding, and Pablo Mari.  

Gabriel has completed 130 appearances over four seasons, netting 14 goals and is involved in 46 clean sheets. Gabriel has been racking up the numbers from both ends of the pitch. Statistically, he has featured among the 88th percentile of non-penalty goals per ninety for center-backs in the top five European leagues and 98th for non-penalty expected goals.  

His immaculate contribution has Arsenal on the brink of clinching their 1st EPL title in 20 years. They are currently second, losing five games and conceding 28 goals from 36 games. If his pairing with William Saliba is the same as that with Lucas Beraldo or Fabricia Bruno, Brazil is in for something great.  

MF - Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle) 

Bruno is a technically gifted holding midfielder. Out of possession, he can be seen scurrying around looking to break up play as a sitting midfielder in a three-man unit. In possession, Bruno Guimaraes transforms into an attacking box-to-box player who offers drive, creativity, goals, and assists. Bruno, a beast in New Castle’s midfield with his eye-catching passing and crunching tackles, is expected to play a similar role in Brazil’s midfield.  

At age 26 and with only 20 caps, one would wonder where he was. Fighting for position with Casemiro and Fabiano is like Daniel fighting a lion in a lion’s den. It is not easy for any Brazilian national to break into that first team. Bruno wears the number 39 on his shirt wherever he goes as a tribute to his father, who was a taxi driver in Brazil. It symbolizes the support and sacrifice his dad made for his football career. 

MF – Andreas Pereira (Fulham) 

Of the English Premier League players standing for Brazil, Pereira is the oldest (28) outfield player with the least number of caps (3). Pereira was prized away from PSV at the age of 15 and was dubbed to be the next glorious thing. However, he did not live up to the billing at Old Trafford under the tutelage of Louis Van Gaal and other Manchester United coaches. Pereira went on many loan spells to Spain before a permanent move to Brazil, Italy, and then England. Pereira finally found a place where he could strive. Fulham scored the most goals in the division from set pieces, and Pereira contributed three. Given the role of a creative midfielder, Only Kevin De Bruyne, Christian Eriksen, and Buyako Saka have provided more assists this season. Only Bruno Fernandes and De Bruyne have created more chances in open play than Pereira. To be compared to these players is a testament to his contribution this season. 

MF - Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa) 

He's among the most underrated central midfielders in the English Premier League. Not entirely on the level of Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bryne, or Bruno Fernandes, but comfortably in a notch below. He is just as close to someone like Bruno Guimarães and is clear of an aging Casemiro. He has a good range of passing, is very good at turning a press to advance a ball, is dogged out of possession, and has recently started to become lethal with set pieces. He won't be the star of the Brazil team, but he is currently in their best XI. A linchpin in Aston Villa’s midfield Luiz would want to carry out the same for Brazil, if he wants to be a regular name on the match card. His ambition is to be a household name in Brazil. To do so, he has to increase his number caps from 13 at age 26.

MF - Lucas Paqueta (West Ham) 

Paqueta joined West Ham from Lyon in France during the summer transfer of the 2022/23 season. The Brazilian was lured in on a record fee and is expected to help push the team for Champions League football and cup glory. It took the former AC Milan man a while to find his footing, but when he did, he was sublime. He helped West Ham lift a trophy in 58 years after a magical performance in which he assisted in the Europa Conference finals, with a goal and two assists in the quarter-finals. A versatile player blessed with the ability to thread a pass through the eye of a needle who can play in the number 10 or 8 role, but his suited position is the number 10. Brazil's national team has never been short of creative midfielders, with the likes of Socrates, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, and Didi, to name a few; Paqueta is right up there with them. His breathtaking wizardry tricks, skills, and ability to read the game as a player will make him a favorite at the Copa America.  

FW - Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) 

Martinelli 6 goals from 34 games for Arsenal, which makes him second-fiddle to Saka and Havertz. Lacking physicality and quality to the likes of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, and Raphinha will make it hard for him to be the first name on the team sheet. However, his pace and direct runs will make him a secret weapon for Dorival Junior’s team.  

 MF - Joao Gomes (Wolverhampton)

 Gomes is a versatile performer for his club and country, and he can play at attacking mid, defensive mid, and central mid. At age 23, with two caps, he lined up nicely in the last two friendlies alongside Guimaraes and Paqueta. Gomes won several trophies at Flamengo before moving to Wolves in the 2022 season. His versatility made him a regular starter at Wolves, having played 33 games with two goals and one assist. He help to form a three-person midfield with Traore and Lemina for Wolverhampton. Most people are comparing his playing style to Leonardo, who played in Brazil's successful World Cup 1994 campaign but missed the tournament's final matches after receiving a four-game ban for elbowing an opponent.

 Brazil has always been a formidable force in any competition it plays. Hence, Coach Junior will be pressured to find the right combination to succeed. Bringing home a tenth Copa America Cup is imminent on the coach and players' minds.