By Basil Afoni
With just some few weeks to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Lions4life takes a look at what is happening in the camps of the opponents of the Indomitable Lions.
In the Brazilian camp, Coach Luis Felipe Scolari published his 23-man World Cup squad with experienced internationals like Robinho, Ronaldinho and Kaka all excluded.
Surprisingly was the omission of Atletico Madrid duo Miranda and Filipe Luis, Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho and Bayern Munich’s Rafinha.
Brazil standby list: Lucas Leiva (Liverpool), Alan Kardec (Sao Paulo), Lucas Moura (PSG), Rafinha (Bayern Munchen), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Miranda (Atletico Madrid), Diego Cavalieri (Fluminense).
Brazilian legend, Pele has called on Brazil to win the World Cup on home soil this summer as a way of making up for their infamous loss to Uruguay in the 1950 final in Rio.
The El Selacao have moved up two places to fourth in the FIFA world ranking – their highest position in nearly two years.
On their part, Mexican coach Miguel Herrera named his 23-player squad for the World Cup with sixteen of the players plying their trade in the Mexican Liga MX.
The surprised inclusion was that of versatile veteran defenders, Carlos Salcido and Rafael Marquez. The El Tri coach opted to pick five center-forwards, including 2012 London Olympic gold medal hero Oribe Peralta and youngsters Alan Pulido, Raul Jimenez, as well as Hernandez and Dos Santos.
Meanwhile, Croatia head coach Niko Kovac has announced his 30 man provisional squad for the World Cup, giving five uncapped players the chance to make their mark ahead of the World Cup.
Surprisingly was the omission of Nikola Kalinic who was left out for Cop, who scored 22 goals in 32 games for Dinamo Zagreb this season.
Also, defender Josip Simunic was not part of the list due to his 10-match ban for “discriminatory behaviour” by the FIFA Court of Arbitration for Sport,CAS.
Cameroon will play Mexico on June 13, Croatia on June 18 and Brazil on June 23.