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Willian gets Brazil reward for Chelsea form

A mix of need and recognition as Willian returns to the national team

Southampton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Brazil’s national team and their manager, Tite, are in a bit of a conundrum in current times. While they were able to find success in the last Copa América, beating their South American neighbours (plus Qatar and Japan) to lift the trophy for the 10th time in history, the performances are still lacking the punch of a true World Cup contender.

Neymar’s return to the team after his injury pre-Copa did not help in the slightest. And his confrontational quotes on privilege, where he implied that he's earned the right to a squad spot even when he is out of form, only served to make him more of a contentious figure within Brazil.

However Neymar is once again injured, and he will not be able to make it to the international break next month. This, combined with poor results in matches since Copa América — three draws and a loss to Peru in the last four games — have given Tite the opportunity to shake things up a bit. While he chose to call up some old names such as Chelsea’s Willian, he's also granted chances to youngsters in Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz and Real Madrid’s Rodrygo.

The full squad that is set to face Argentina and South Korea on November 14 and 18, respectively, is as follows:

GOALKEEPERS: Alisson (Liverpool), Daniel Fuzato (AS Roma), Ederson (Manchester City)

DEFENDERS: Danilo (Juventus), Emerson (Real Betis), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Renan Lodi (Atlético Madrid), Éder Militão (Real Madrid), Felipe (Atlético Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (PSG)

MIDFIELDERS: Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fabinho (Liverpool), Lucas Paquetá (AC Milan), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich)

FORWARDS: David Neres (Ajax), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Richarlison (Everton), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Willian (Chelsea)

Willian’s return to Brazil’s national team works goes beyond being a mere substitute to Neymar, as it is also recognition of his good work at the start of Chelsea’s season under Frank Lampard. The call up should also work well for his intentions to stay at Chelsea, something he always makes clear in interviews.

“Of course when you talk about Corinthians, the club that launched me, I have a great affection. But honestly, I don’t think about returning to Brazil.

“I think I have a lot of mileage here in Europe. I have a market.

“I’m very happy here at Chelsea. Of course my contract is ending now, at the end of the season it’s over. But I’m happy at Chelsea and I plan to stay here.”

-Willian; Source: Esporte Interativo

Good luck on your return!

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