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Dante named in Brazil World Cup squad

A dream is set to come true for FCB defender Dante after he was named in the 23-strong Brazil squad for this summer’s World Cup on home soil. However, there was no place for Bayern right-back Rafinha in the squad announced by national team coach Felipe Scolari in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday at a press conference attended by 700 specially accredited reporters. The second Bundesliga star in the Seleção party is former Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo of VfL Wolfsburg. The World Cup opens on 12 June in São Paulo when the hosts meet Croatia. Scolari’s men later play Mexico and Cameroon in their group fixtures.

Shaqiri and Thiago toil away

The senior squad were told to take time off and relax on Wednesday, but two FCB stars reported for training in the morning anyway as they continue working towards comebacks. In the morning sports rehab coach Thomas Wilhelmi supervised Xherdan Shaqiri in the next stage of his recovery programme. The Swiss international completed a series of drills including slalom and hurdle sprints. Thiago emerged onto the training ground at lunchtime. The Spaniard reported to fitness coach Lorenzo Buenaventura for a workout also focused on running and sprints.