'No surprises' - Liverpool and Manchester United stars World Cup dreams take a hit

Philippe Coutinho and Rafael da Silva look unlikely to be going to the World Cup in 2014.

This summer could be an incredible one if you are a Brazilian footballer. The 23 men who are picked for Selecao will be given the opportunity to lift the World Cup on home soil - a dream for any footballer - but perhaps not felt stronger anywhere else in the world than Brazil.

But to make that 23, you must win perhaps the biggest fight for a place at the World Cup of any of the qualified 32 nations.

Brazil have a massive talent pool to pick from - which is why talented Brazilian’s in the Premier League - such as Philippe Coutinho and Rafael da Silva of Liverpool and Manchester United respectively do not currently look likely to make the cut.

However there is still plenty of time until the tournament rules around - and the pair, in particular Coutinho, have made it clear that they still dream of making the cut.

But today they were dealt a blow by the national teams Technical Director Carlos Alberto Parreira. The man who led Brazil to World Cup glory in 1994 is working in tandem with head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari - and with some aplomb - as the Confederations Cup win proved last summer.

But they have done so using a core of players - rarely diverging from that group which has brought them success unless injury dictates so.

And today Parreira confirmed that no surprises should be expected when the squad is announced - leaving just injuries as a potential route into the squad for Coutinho, Rafael or any other Brazilian international who has not been in the squad recently:

“Of course we have to pay attention because we still have six months to go and a player could get injured or lose form , so you must have at least three players on your radar for each position, just in case. But like (Spain coach) Del Bosque says, football is a 'sport of the moment'. We will decide closer to the time, but there will be no surprises."

Coutinho and Rafael are now just two in a pool of many who are on the edge of the Selecao and yet seem to be nowhere near going to the World Cup in the summer.

image: © Dean Jones

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