Former Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari made a number of controversial decisions after recently naming his 23-man Brazilian squad for this summer’s World Cup.
The most notable names that didn’t make the cut were AC Milan duo Kaka and Robinho, though the two Samba stars are arguably way past their prime nowadays.
Luiz Felipe Scolari biggest omissions, however, were Atletico Madrid duo Filipe Luis and Miranda as the two stars have been a colossal at the back for Diego Simeone’s men this season.
28-year-old Filipe Luis has grown in the Spanish capital since joining the club from Deportivo La Coruña in 2010. His hard work, skill, balance and trickery down that left-flank has seen him named amongst the UEFA’s best left-backs this season.
His role during Atletico’s fabulous Champions League run has attracted the attentions of Chelsea, who got to see first-hand how good he is during their recent semi-final defeat.
The Blues are on the look-out for a new left-back following the imminent departure of Ashley Cole, and Filipe Luis is an excellent candidate.
Another Atletico Madrid star which didn’t make the cut in Brazil’s squad is Manchester United linked centre-back Miranda. The 29-year-old has been a rock all season, helping the club keep an unrivalled 20 La Liga sheets in 37 games.
The Red Devils also have key players to replace, with centre-back Nemanja Vidic leaving this summer and Rio Ferdinand widely tipped to follow. Miranda was a prime target for ex-boss David Moyes, and the club could go in for him again with a reported fee of £13m banded about.
The Premier League duo’s intentions of signing the Brazilian stars may just have increased following their unlikely omission from this summer’s main tournament. Many observers believe Atletico Madrid have a fantastic team but not so much individual quality, they couldn’t be more wrong.
Chelsea target Filipe Luis has been arguably the best left-back in Europe this season, yet PSG’s Maxwell and Real Madrid’s Marcelo have both been given the nod, arguably based on club status and reputation.
Likewise for Man United target Miranda, with David Luiz, despite making only a limited number of appearances for Chelsea at centre-back this season, receiving the call in his stead.
Filipe Luis (28) and Miranda (29) aren’t getting any younger, and the next World Cup in Russia in 2018 might be their last chance of representing the national team on the biggest stage. A move to Chelsea and Man United will certainly get them more recognition, and the presumed high-level intensity of the Premier League may just improve their skills further.