Title recalls Thiago Silva to Brazil squad

Former champions to face Bolivia and Venezuela in qualifiers

Gulf News

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil coach Tite has recalled veteran central defender Thiago Silva to his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Venezuela.

The 31-year-old former captain of the national side won the last of his 59 caps in the 2015 Copa America but then fell out of favour with Tite’s predecessor Dunga.

The new coach said he called the Paris St Germain player within days of taking over and he is now in contention for a place alongside either Miranda or PSG team mate Marquinhos at the heart of the Brazil defence.

The other surprise in Friday’s announcement was a first call up for Flamengo goalkeeper Muralha.

There were also recalls for Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho, Chelsea’s Oscar, Bayern Munich striker Douglas Costa and Roberto Firmino of Liverpool.

Tite, the former Corinthians coach who took over from Dunga in July, led his side to victories over Ecuador and Colombia in his first two matches in charge and will take his squad to Natal in northern Brazil to play Bolivia on Oct. 6 and then to Merida to face Venezuela five days later.

Bolivia are eighth in the 10-team qualifying group for Russia 2018, while Venezuela are bottom with no wins from their eight games.

Brazil are currently second in the South American table. The top four teams qualify automatically and the fifth-placed side goes into a play-off with a team from Oceania.

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