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World Cup player profile: Luiz Gustavo

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Name: Luiz Gustavo

Age: 26

Position: Midfielder

Club: VfL Wolfsburg

Caps [goals]: 16 [1]

Luiz Gustavo is a favourite of Brazil Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, with the 26 year-old playing a key role in the Seleção’s victory at last summer’s Confederations Cup. His positional sense, discipline and decent range of passing make him the perfect holding midfielder and he is yet to let Brazil down in that role.

Why has he been selected?

Scolari had a number of holding midfielders to chose from but he has wisely put his trust in Gustavo. The Pindamonhangaba native is a strong tackler and very solid defensively, but is also good on the ball and understands how to quickly get Brazil’s more effective players in possession. Gustavo was excellent at the Confederations Cup and it is no surprise that Scolari has selected him again.

How has he played this season?

Gustavo left Bayern Munich to join VfL Wolfsburg to ensure he had regular playing time ahead of the World Cup. The move has worked out well and he featured in 29 matches - scoring four goals - to help Die Wölfe into 5th place in the Bundesliga.

What will his role be in Brazil?

Gustavo will be one of the core members of Brazil’s World Cup challenge. He is expected to start all the games that matter, barring injury or suspension, and will play a key role in helping overturn possession and start quick counter-attacks. Interestingly, there is no direct understudy for him - Fernando was his reserve at the Confederations Cup - so if he’s not playing, Brazil’s style will have to be altered.


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