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Brazil coach explains Philippe Coutinho snub

The Liverpool player was not included in his country’s squad to face Argentina.

Coutinho has been snubbed in the latest Brazil squad.
Coutinho has been snubbed in the latest Brazil squad.

BRAZIL HEAD COACH Dunga has explained the reasons behind his decision to leave Liverpool attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho out of his latest squad.

Despite recently returning to action at club level after a groin injury, the 23-year-old has not been included for Brazil’s World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Argentina and Peru next month.

Kaka and Ricardo Oliveira were brought into the squad as injury replacements for Brazil’s last two games and Dunga feels the duo have done enough to keep hold of their place, meaning Coutinho is made to wait.

“If you leave an empty seat, someone will come and sit in it,” said Dunga, who is in his second spell in charge of the national side.

“If the guy comes in and plays well, he will remain in the squad. The players have to seize their opportunities.”

Coutinho’s club team-mate Roberto Firmino, who returned to the Liverpool’s matchday squad for their Europa League game against Rubin Kazan on Thursday, also missed out having spent a month out of action with a back injury.

Dunga revealed he places huge importance on communication with his players around the world when discussing fitness matters ahead of key international dates and suggested there could be improvements from some Brazil stars.

He continued: “We are frequently in contact with all our players. Therefore, they have to pass all the relevant information on to us. We want direct contact so as not to make any mistakes.

“We have to have the information at the right time in order to make our decisions. When that is delayed by one or two days, it may be something that does not please everyone.”

Dunga has picked David Luiz, despite the Paris Saint-Germain defender not having played since suffering a knee injury against Chile.

“We talked with him for half an hour and he was back in training,” said the Brazil boss.

“He is okay — he has recovered and could have played [against Real Madrid on Wednesday in the Champions League]. He is ready for both games.”

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