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David Luiz in, Neymar out of Brazil's friendly squad to face Argentina

The FC panel debate the best team in international football and highlight Brazil's impressive resurgence.
Gab Marcotti and Alejandro Moreno enthusiastically debate whether Brazil can be called the world's best team right now.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Neymar was left off the Brazil squad that will travel to Australia for a pair of friendly matches next month.

Brazil coach Tite said Friday that the Barcelona striker will instead take some much-needed vacation to be better prepared for next year's World Cup in Russia.

"I heard that whatever was best for Brazil we should do, regardless of names," Tite said at Brazil's headquarters. "[Neymar] needs an interruption so he can be in top physical form in 2018."

Brazil will play Argentina...

Kaka: 'Tite is doing a great job for the Brazilian national team'

The FC panel debate the best team in international football and highlight Brazil's impressive resurgence.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno delves into Neymar's role for Brazil, focusing in on how he's matured on and off the pitch.
Gab Marcotti and Alejandro Moreno enthusiastically debate whether Brazil can be called the world's best team right now.

SAN JOSE, California -- Orlando City and former Brazil national team midfielder Kaka has lauded the work of Brazil national team manager Tite.

Thanks to an eight-game winning streak in World Cup qualifying, the Selecao sit atop the standings in South America, a whopping nine points ahead of second-placed Colombia. Qualification to Russia has already been clinched.

"Tite is doing a great job for the Brazilian national team," Kaka said in an exclusive interview with ESPN FC. "I think Brazil will arrive...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ronaldinho academy won't open in Singapore after company shuts down

Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts highlight Singapore's high-profile June friendly against Argentina, and the pending FA election.
Tampines chairman Krishna Ramachandran and Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho with Tampines chairman Krishna Ramachandra, who says the club has cut ties with the Brazil legend.

A Singapore junior academy, led by former Brazil star Ronaldinho, has closed down without conducting any training sessions.

It was the subject of a media frenzy and lavish launch in December 2015, with Ronaldinho flying into the island nation. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed to partner S.League club Tampines Rovers.

But International Football Group (IFG), who were supposed to set up the academy, ended operations in January after staff complained that their wages were not being paid.

Tampines...

 By Tim Vickery

Brazilian Championship set to kick off, Chape look to retain first-division spot

Gabriel Jesus of Palmeiras celebrates with Brazilian Series A 2016 the trophy.
Sao Paulo side Palmeiras won the 2016 Brazilian Championship with current Manchester City man Gabriel Jesus.

As the European leagues wind down, so the Brazilian Championship gets underway. The action starts this weekend and goes all the way through to the start of December.

It is an unorthodox calendar and one that is no doubt holding back the Brazilian game. For political reasons, the year begins with the state championships, one for each of the country's 27 states. These in their present form are outdated competitions -- crowds of fewer than 500 outnumber those above 5000 by nearly three to one. They...

 By Tim Vickery

Atletico Nacional beat Chapecoense for Recopa title on celebratory night

Chapecoense visited the site of November's crash ahead of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional.

More than five months after that tragic air crash, Chapecoense made it safely up to Medellin to face Atletico Nacional in a game that will enrich the history of football.

In the wake of the tragedy the two clubs became firm friends, and the ties were strengthened on a moving night in Medellin.

Centre-back Neto, one of the survivors, met up with the Colombian policeman who found him lying in the wreckage and began his rescue at a moment when the search was in danger of being abandoned. A ceremony...