Brazil interim coach Ramon Menezes left Neymar, Gabriel Martinelli and Alisson out of his squad Friday for the international friendly against Morocco on March 25 in Tangier.

Brazil will be playing for the first time since their elimination from the World Cup by Croatia in the quarterfinals in December.

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Neymar was injured in a French league game last month and is out of the Champions League round-of-16 second-leg clash away at Bayern Munich next week, manager Christophe Galtier has said.

Martinelli is also a surprise omission from the squad after he has played a key role in helping Arsenal open up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Menezes, who coaches Brazil’s under-20 team, didn’t detail why goalkeeper Alisson is not in the squad but said he wanted to give opportunities to new players.

Menezes brought in several players from the U-20 squad which he led to the South American championship in February.

Brazil’s confederation continues to search for a permanent successor to Tite, who left after the loss to Croatia.

Confederation president Ednaldo Rodrigues denied in February that he had held advanced negotiations with Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti for the job.

Ricardo Gomes, Brazil interim team director said on Friday: “We have great Brazilian coaches here, It’s not in our culture [to have foreign coaches]… but the choice is of the president [of Brazilian Football Confederation] and the board.

“We’re open. But, no matter the nationality, what matters is the competence.”


Goalkeepers: Ederson (Manchester City), Mycael (Athletico Paranaense), Weverton (Palmeiras)

Defenders: Arthur (America), Emerson Royal (Tottenham), Alex Telles (Sevilla), Renan Lodi (Nottingham Forest), Ibanez (Roma), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Robert Renan (Zenit)

Midfielders: Casemiro (Manchester United), Andrey Santos (Vasco da Gama), Andre (Fluminense), Joao Gomes (Wolverhampton), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham), Raphael Veiga (Palmeiras)

Forwards: Antony (Manchester United), Richarlison (Tottenham), Vinicius Jr. (Real Madrid), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Rony (Palmeiras), Vitor Roque (Athletico Paranaense).

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