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Rafael unlucky to miss out on deserved national recognition again

by Sam Peoples

Rafael has been left out of the Brazil’s 2013 Confederations Cup squad by Luiz Felipe Scolari.

The 22-year-old has had a brilliant season for Manchester United but it was seemingly not enough to persuade Scolari to give him a richly deserved call-up.

Instead, he has chosen to take Real Madrid’s Marcelo at full-back despite him only playing 650 minutes of football all season and only one right-back in Dani Alves.

Speaking about his selections, Scolari said: “We could lose out in terms of experience but we will make up for that with the enthusiasm which the young players bring.

“If a player is not in the squad, it means I have doubts about him. If he is in the squad, it means I don’t have any doubts.

“When I chose the squad, I analyse what I can win and what I can lose with each player and I make my choices.

“When it comes to discipline, I base my choices on the way the player has behaved with the Brazil team and what has happened with us in the five friendlies.

“If we don’t do well, we’ll be under the cosh whoever I picked.”

A call-up to the Brazilian national squad is only a matter of time for Rafael who has progressed superbly this season and it would have been deserved if he had been named in the squad. Brazil will use the same squad for the friendlies against England and France in June.

He has been one of United’s star performers this season and his only real blip on the year was his rash red card for kicking out at David Luiz recently.

But maybe a break will do him well. Last summer, Rafael did not join United’s pre-season because of reaching the 2012 London Olympic final. Having some time away from football may help him recuperate.

And it means that Rafael will be able to join the squad for the pre-season tour of Asia which can only be a good thing.

Here is the squad in full.

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Queens Park Rangers), Diego Cavalieri (Fluminense), Jefferson (Botafogo)

Defenders: Rever (Atletico Mineiro), Thiago Silva (Paris St Germain), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Jean (Fluminense), Marcelo (Real Madrid), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: Paulinho (Corinthians), Luiz Gustavo (Bayern Munich), Fernando (Gremio), Hernanes (Lazio), Oscar (Chelsea), Lucas (Paris St Germain)

Forwards: Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg), Bernard (Atletico Mineiro), Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Fred (Fluminense), Neymar (Santos), Jadson (Sao Paulo)

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