Alex Teixeira earns Brazil call-up

Rio de Janeiro, April 30 (IANS) Uncapped Jiangsu Suning playmaker Alex Teixeira has been named in Brazil’s preliminary 40-man squad for the centenary edition of the Copa America football tournament in June.

Coach Dunga will announce his final 23-man squad for the tournament in the United States at a press conference next Thursday, the Brazilian football confederation said on Friday, reports Xinhua.

Teixeira has been in impressive form since joining the Chinese Super League club from Shakhtar Donetsk in February for a reported 50 million euros.

The 26-year-old has already represented his country at youth level, and showed his precocious talent by scoring 13 goals in 18 matches for Brazil’s Under-17s in 2006 and 2007.

As expected, FC Barcelona forward Neymar was left out of the squad after the Catalan outfit said they would not release the 24-year-old for both the Copa America and Olympic Games in August.

And there was no place for Paris Saint-Germain defender David Luiz, who was omitted after a series of sub-par performances for the team.

Dunga included Under-23 players Rodrigo Caio (Sao Paulo), Gabriel (Santos) and Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras), who are expected to be named in Brazil’s Olympic squad.

Sao Paulo midfielder Paulo Henrique Ganso, who has not played for Brazil since the 2012 Olympic Games, was also named, as was Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro.

Brazil will begin their Copa America campaign against Ecuador in Pasadena on June 4. They will then meet Haiti in Orlando on June 8 and Peru in Boston on June 12.

–IANS

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