Interim Brazil coach Ramon Menezes omitted injured superstar Neymar from his squad on Friday as he called up fresh young talent to face Morocco in a March 25 friendly.
The match in Tangier against the surprise World Cup semi-finalists will be the first for the five-time world champions since the disappointment of their quarter-final exit against Croatia at the World Cup in December.
Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar suffered a right ankle injury against Lille two weeks ago and “will not be in the right condition to join us” in time for the Morocco friendly, national team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told a news conference.
PSG said earlier Neymar had also been ruled out of their Champions League last 16 second leg clash against Bayern Munich next week.
Brazil will face World Cup surprise package Morocco, who became the first African or Arab team to reach the semi-finals, with a squad featuring just 11 of the players the “Selecao” brought to Qatar.
Notable absentees include Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.
Menezes named nine uncapped players, including forward Vitor Roque, an 18-year-old phenomenon who was been making a name for himself at Brazil’s Athletico Paranaense.
Menezes, who coached Brazil’s under-20 squad to the South American championship last month without losing a match, took over the men’s national team on an interim basis when two-time World Cup finals coach Tite stepped down after the 2022 tournament.
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