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Philippe Coutinho has eggs and flour thrown on him by Brazil teammates

Philippe Coutinho has eggs and flour thrown on him by Brazil teammates

This isn't your 2014 Brazil World Cup squad.

Brazil star Neymar is growing in confidence and has "lost the fear to play" ahead of the World Cup, according to goalkeeper Alisson. Serginho, reckoned to be the antithesis to all that was good about a Brazil side represented so dynamically and artistically by players such as Socrates and Zico, started every game in Spain. Europe's Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and the Ukrainian Premier League all feature, as does China's Super League and Brazil's own Serie A. There can be nothing taken away from Group-E, especially with predictions, considering the quality all four teams have.

Eager to put their humiliation on home soil in 2014 firmly behind them, the Brazilians appear confident and at ease in surroundings which in this lush part of Russian Federation are not completely unlike home. In their second match, Brazil will take on Costa Rica on 22 June. Brazil then meet the tricky Serbia, who will also be looking for qualification from this group, but the South Americans are expected to breeze past their European opponents. The winger only started training with the squad last week after picking up a thigh injury during Juventus' 2-1 win against Verona in the last round of Italy's Serie A top club competition.

Austria remained in the game and dominated possession early in the second half and gave Coutinho and Neymar some rough treatment, to the frustration of Brazil.

Brazil couldn't deliver when they were the hosts but with Neymar back and the attack firing on all cylinders, this could certainly be their year.

The foursome, starting together for the first time, worked superbly in hard conditions on Sunday to break down an Austria side which had beaten Germany only one week earlier.

It is pitched as "a team-talk for all Brazilians", and while one might reasonably wonder what exactly all that has to do with current accounts, the lofty tone neatly captures the 57-year-old's standing in his country.

Salah: Coming Off Injured In UCL Final Worst Moment Of My Career
On the messages exchanged between the pair, Mo Salah simply said: "He sent me a message, but I never told him it was okay". Ramos also downplayed the severity of Salah's injury, saying that he was once able to play through a similar problem.

"I would kill for Tite", Marcelo said a year ago, and he would probably have 22 accomplices if it ever came to that.

Tite's team selection has been to form a team that could be viewed as complete as opposed to an attacking or a defensive unit.

The recent slump in friendly matches could be a blessing in disguise if it eradicates any complacency going into the World Cup. It was as if this team lacked any direction, leadership and tactical nous. "And on a football level, it would make Madrid much stronger than they already are", said Messi.

Brazil, at least on paper are one of those sides that are capable enough to go on to win the World Cup.

"All the games before the World Cup were important to reach this level of performance", Jesus, who now has 10 global goals, added.

VAR will be the acronym of the moment: video assistant referees in soccer-speak, instant replay for most viewers at home.

Jesus, 20, was painting the streets of Brazil in 2014 and this time he will be in the Playing 11 alongside Neymar.

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