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Scolari sure to keep Fred in Cup squad

Sao Paulo: Thiago Silva is the only current Brazil player that would find a place in the 1970 World Cup winning team, former midfield great Rivelino said.

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has guaranteed a place for Fluminense striker Fred in the 23-man squad he will name on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro. Former Manchester City and Everton centre forward Jo, who is now with Atletico Mineiro, is expected to be his back up.

Rivelino, one of the stars of that legendary 1970 side, said Neymar was the other standout in the team aiming for Brazil’s sixth World Cup title at the tournament, starting on home soil on June 12.

The 1970 side had a host of great forwards. So only Silva, the classy Paris St Germain defender and Brazil captain, would edge his way into the team ahead of Wilson Piazza, the former Corinthians and Fluminense player said.

“If you look at the back, Thiago Silva would get in the 1970 team,” he said. “Piazza was a great player, but he wasn’t a central defender, he was adapted from midfield. You can’t ignore a player like Thiago Silva. He has real quality.”

Rivelino lamented the lack of strikers and said that for perhaps the first time, Brazil go into a World Cup with a better back four than forward line. The country of Pele, Ronaldo and Romario has few attractive options up front, a worry considering each of the World Cup triumphs included a deadly attacking duo.

“Brazil always had great attackers who could decide a game at any moment,” he said. (Reuters)