Brazil Copa America squad review: Star-studded Selecao have something to prove

Lofty external expectations mixed with internal uncertainty make for a complicated cocktail for Brazil ahead of their 2024 Copa America campaign, though with one of the most star-laden squads at the tournament, the Selecao still have the quality to shine.

Journeyman Head Coach Dorival Júnior, who has had just a handful of games in the Brazilian hotseat since his appointment in January, made some controversial calls when naming his squad for the Copa America. And a tough-looking section alongside Colombia, Paraguay and Costa Rica in Group D should provide a stiff test for his tactical nous.

Copa America predictions
Brazil were beaten finalists in the last Copa America – Photo by Icon Sport

Brazil – Key stats

Year founded: 1914

Current FIFA ranking: 5

Brazil have slipped down the FIFA rankings since their disappointing 2022 World Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Croatia in Qatar. Some patchy form, including a run of three successive WC qualification fixture defeats between October and November last year, has kept Brazil in a modest position in the FIFA rankings.

Highest FIFA ranking: 1

Record five-time World Cup winners Brazil have enjoyed top spot in the FIFA Rankings on numerous occasions and they were the federation’s top-ranked outfit before the last World Cup in Qatar.

Year of Copa America debut: 1916

Brazil competed in the inaugural Copa America championship which was held in Argentina in 1916. Brazil finished third in that four-team tournament at the beginning of the last century.

Best Copa America performance: Winners (1919, 1922, 1949, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2019)

Only rivals Argentina and Uruguay (15 apiece) have won the Copa America more often than Brazil (nine) down through the years. The Selecao were beaten finalists in the 2021 iteration of the competition, though they won three out of six Copa Americas before that.

Player to watch: Vinicius Junior

Copa America Group D fixtures
Colombia are seen as Brazil's biggest threat to a top spot finish in Group D – Photo by Icon Sport

Full Brazil Copa America squad

As we touched on above, Brazil manager Dorival Júnior made some big calls when settling on his roster for Copa America 2024. Man City keeper Ederson, Man Utd midfielder Casemiro and Tottenham forward Richarlison were all omitted, while Dorival also chose to include several players short of international experience.

Goalkeeper

  • Alisson (Liverpool)
  • Bento (Athletico Paranaense)
  • Rafael (São Paulo)

Defence

  • Danilo (Juventus)
  • Éder Militão (Real Madrid)
  • Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Wendell (Porto)
  • Yan Couto (Girona)
  • Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal)
  • Guilherme Arana (Atlético Mineiro)
  • Lucas Beraldo (Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Bremer (Juventus)

Midfield

  • Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle United)
  • Lucas Paquetá (West Ham United)
  • João Gomes (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
  • Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)
  • Andreas Pereira (Fulham)
  • Éderson (Atalanta)

Attack

  • Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid)
  • Endrick (Palmeiras)
  • Rodrygo (Real Madrid)
  • Raphinha (Barcelona)
  • Sávio (Girona)
  • Evanilson (Porto)
  • Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)
  • Pepê (Porto)
Copa America predictions
Surprise inclusion Andreas Pereira will be keen to make an impact – Photo by Icon Sport

Surprise inclusions in Brazil’s Copa America squad

There are quite a few players to choose from in terms of surprise inclusions for Brazil with eight players in Dorival Júnior’s squad sitting on two or fewer international caps each.

Andreas Pereira (Fulham)

28-year-old schemer Andreas Pereira made his international debut for Brazil in 2018, though he had been out in the cold for several years before he was given the second of his four caps by Dorival Júnior earlier this year.

The midfielder blew hot and cold for Fulham in the Premier League last season, though his ten goal contributions in England’s top tier in 2023/24 (3G, 7A) seem to have earned him the nod for the Copa America ahead of some bigger-name alternatives.

Lucas Beraldo (PSG)

Promising 20-year-old defender Lucas Beraldo has enjoyed a meteoric rise in 2024. The youngster earned a move to French giants PSG from Sao Paulo in January and quickly earned a regular position in Luis Enrique’s XI in Paris.

A former Under-20 international, Beraldo won a first call up for Brazil as recently as March and he has featured three times for his country since making his bow. Remarkably, Beraldo could make his first competitive appearance for Brazil at the Copa America.

Copa America 2024 predictions
Vinicius Junior should be a star performer for Brazil at Copa America – Photo by Icon Sport

In-form players for Brazil

Brazil’s squad features several performers that enjoyed stellar club campaigns in 2023/24 and we’ve taken a closer look at some of their form players below.

Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)

With Neymar injured and uninvolved, Vinicius Junior will shoulder extra responsibility for Brazil as the team’s primary source of goals and match-changing magic at the Copa America.

The dazzlingly skillful 23-year-old played a key role in Real Madrid’s double-winning campaign in 2023/24 and Junior found the net in Los Blancos’ Champions League final triumph over Borussia Dortmund on June 1st.

Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle)

Newcastle fan favourite Bruno Guimarães was an all-action presence for the Magpies last term, starting all but one of the club’s 38 fixtures in the Premier League, scoring seven times and creating another eight goals along the way.

The 26-year-old – who has been a regular for Brazil boss Dorival Júnior since his appointment – brings fight and finesse to his team’s midfield. Indeed, the combative Guimarães was booked 14 times in all competitions for Newcastle in 2023/24.

Rodrygo (Real Madrid)

Like his teammate and compatriot, Vinicius Junior, attacker Rodrygo was a mainstay in the Real Madrid side that roared to a superb La Liga and Champions League double last season. The 23-year-old utilised his blend of pace and skill to score 17 times in all competitions for Los Blancos over the course of the campaign.

Copa America predictions
Alisson will be one of the first names on the Brazilian teamsheet – Photo by Icon Sport

Brazil Predicted Copa America XI

Brazil vs Costa Rica

(4-2-3-1) Alisson (GK), Danilo, Marquinhos, Beraldo, Wendell, Guimaraes, Joao Gomes, Raphinha, Paqueta, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior

In Brazil’s last warm-up fixture before the Copa America against the USA (1-1) on Thursday, Dorival Júnior deployed his troops in his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation and the set-up, and this is likely to be repeated against a Costa Rica side that will start as massive outsiders.

Brazil vs Paraguay

(4-2-3-1) Alisson (GK), Danilo, Marquinhos, Beraldo, Wendell, Guimaraes, Joao Gomes, Raphinha, Paqueta, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior

In what should represent a stiffer challenge on matchday two against Paraguay, Dorival Júnior is unlikely to deviate from his blueprint and he could fit the same players into the same shape in a bid to build momentum in terms of tactical familiarity and confidence.

Brazil vs Colombia

(4-3-3) Alisson (GK), Danilo, Marquinhos, Beraldo, Wendell, Guimaraes, Joao Gomes, Ederson, Paqueta, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior

Brazil’s fixture against Colombia on matchday three is undoubtedly their toughest in Group D and Dorival Júnior could choose to revert to the 4-3-3 formation he used in the Selecao’s March friendly against England to offer more protection to his defence.

Atalanta’s ball-winning maestro, Ederson, could earn a spot in midfield in that scenario.


Simon Winter is a professional football tipster and sports journalist with over ten years in the industry. Best known for his time with Racing Post, Simon has also had work published by Freesupertips, Bloomberg Sports, bet365, Paddy Power, Colossus Bets, These Football Times and more. Simon covers the Bundesliga and Serie A for Football Whispers.