Tite’s 26-man World Cup squad announcement threw up quite a few headlines on Monday evening. Reading out loud Brazil’s key men for Qatar, the 61-year-old did so by including none other than £86million Manchester United signing Antony.
The fiery winger has already achieved 11 caps with his country but this will be his first major tournament with the Selecao. And his heartwarming reaction to finding out the news reminded everyone just how much it means to a footballer to represent your country.
Upon finding out the announcement, the 22-year-old posted a video to his social media channels with the caption: “For you!!! Thank you, God!! Thank you everyone… friends, family, mom, dad, brothers!! Love you!!! Too much emotion!!”
Surrounded by his closest people, Antony and three others jumped off the sofa and burst into celebration upon hearing his name read out. Only seconds later and the United star was embracing one of the other three and breaks down in tears.
And he wasn’t the only one to receive good news; Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus was also named in the squad. The Brazil striker, like Antony, has represented Brazil’s national team before. In fact on 56 occasions.
But news of his inclusion in the World Cup squad gave a just as pure reaction with the Gunners man also taking to social media. The 25-year-old posted a compilation clip of him playing for Brazil with the caption “inexplicable”.
Alongside the post he also included the hash tag “hello mum”, a nod to his phone-call celebration, which originated from his regular calls back home shortly after arriving at Manchester City. The Gunners man also posted the quote: “Work hard and in silence, let your results make noise.”
But unfortunately for his Arsenal team-mate, Gabriel Magalhaes, it wasn’t such good news. The centre-back, who has formed a formidable partnership with William Saliba this season, was ousted by Marquinhos and Chelsea’s Thiago Silva.
The 24-year-old is yet to earn a cap for Brazil but took the news well. He reposted a picture on social media, with a fist bump and love heart, which included the caption: “I saw you grow up in football, brother. You are the pride of our neighbourhood.”
It was also bad news for Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, who missed out. The striker saw a more youthful group of attackers selected ahead of him. Team-mate Fabinho, meanwhile, did get the nod, however.
And it was positive news for Manchester United’s quartet of Brazil stars. Casemiro, Fred, Alex Telles (on loan at Sevilla) and the aforementioned Antony all make the trip to Qatar.
Finally, veteran Dani Alves will go to the World Cup. The most decorated footballer in the world will make the trip as a 39-year-old, in what is likely to be his career swansong.
Brazil World Cup squad in full
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson and Weverton
Defenders : Daniel Alves, Danilo, Alex Sandro, Alex Telles, Bremer, Éder Militão, Marquinhos and Thiago Silva
Midfielders : Bruno Guimarães, Casemiro, Fabinho, Fred, Everton Ribeiro and Lucas Paquetá.
Forwards: Antony, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Neymar, Pedro, Raphinha, Richarlison, Rodrygo and Vini Jr