On Thursday night, Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz captained Brazil’s U23 side in a friendly against Colombia.
The squad are currently in preparations for the Pre-Olympic tournament, which is being held in Colombia between the 18th of January and the 9th of February.
Outlet Estadão managed to have an interview with Branco, who’s the coordinator of the national team’s youth levels, and he revealed they’re trying to get some players from their clubs in that period.
“It’s all about relationship. After the friendlies, André Jardine and I go to Europe to talk to the clubs to show the importance of a call up for the Brazilian team for these athletes,” Branco told Estadão.
“The national team adds value. Everyone wants this opportunity. We’ll probably have some absences at the Pre-Olympic, because it’s not a FIFA date, but it’s all about relationship, sitting and talking. Each will look at their side. So it’s very important that we have several options. We are already doing this monitoring.”
Douglas Luiz should be one of these players, along with Bayer Leverkusen’s Paulinho and Atletico Madrid’s Renan Lodi.
Since signing for Aston Villa this summer, Douglas has played all of the club’s Premier League games, so it’s hard to imagine him being released at such a crucial part of the season.
A good campaign in the Pre-Olympic tournament is obviously needed so Brazil can go to Tokyo and defend their title, after they won the gold medal in Rio three years ago.