Brazil's attacking trio reunited for friendly with S. Arabia
Roberto Firmino (C) of Brazil attends a training session in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 11, 2018. EPA-EFE/Ahmed Yosri
Lucas Moura (C) of Brazil attends a training session in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 11, 2018. EPA-EFE/Ahmed Yosri
Neymar of Brazil attends a training session in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 11, 2018. EPA-EFE/Ahmed Yosri
Head coach Tite of Brazil attends a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 11, 2018. EPA-EFE/Ahmed Yosri
Sao Paulo, Oct 11 (efe-epa).- The attacking trio Brazil used in the 2018 World Cup - Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho - will reunite for this week's friendly against Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.
The three players will come together once again on Friday, after their disappointing performance in Russia, where Brazil were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Belgium.
At the World Cup, Neymar had just recovered from a serious injury and was harshly criticized for his theatrical reactions and his "lack of emotional stability" on the pitch.
Jesus, the youngest member of the national side, left Russia without scoring a single goal, while Coutinho scored two goals in the tournament.
The prospects for the attacking trio are now different, as Neymar was named permanent captain of Brazil's national soccer team in September and is happier than ever in Paris Saint-Germain, and Coutinho has shown that he is an indispensable part of Barcelona, though Gabriel Jesus has experienced a rough patch with Manchester City.
The three players are a key part of coach Tite's strategy, who has begun a new period at the helm of Brazil, focusing on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but with a crucial stop on the way: the 2019 Copa America, which Brazil is hosting.
The Brazilian soccer federation has organized a series of friendlies ahead of the Copa America that will gradually grow in difficulty.
Brazil's first victims were the United States (2-0) and El Salvador (5-0), while they will go up against Saudia Arabia on Friday and against Argentina on Oct. 16, though the latter will be without superstar Lionel Messi.