Soccer-Brazil recall Alves for World Cup qualifiers

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Copa Libertadores - Group E - Racing Club v Sao Paulo - Estadio Presidente Juan Domingo Peron, Buenos Aires, Argentina - May 5, 2021 Sao Paulo's Dani Alves during the match Pool via REUTERS/Gettylatpool1

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil have recalled Dani Alves for their World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Paraguay, giving the Sao Paulo fullback the chance of an international comeback almost two years after his last appearance.

Coach Tite said the 38-year old Alves “is playing well and has a great history with the national team. He is physically and psychologically at his best. He is a leader and he can make us stronger.”

Tite also recalled Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa for the games at home to Ecuador on June 4 and away to Paraguay four days later.

Defender Lucas Verissimo of Benfica was called up for the first time.

The 24 players called up for the qualifiers will form the base of the squad for the Copa America scheduled to be played in Colombia and Argentina between June 13 and July 10.

Brazil currently top the 10-team South America qualifying group for Qatar 2022 after four games with a maximum 12 points ahead of Argentina on 10, Ecuador with 9 and Paraguay on six.

The top four automatically qualify for the World Cup.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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