Why did Dorival Júnior call up Paquetá for Brazil’s squad despite betting allegations?

Inside the decision to include Paquetá in the national team amid controversy.
Desmond Efe-Khaese
2024-03-02 13:16:05

Lucas Paquetá’s return to the Brazilian national team, announced by coach Dorival Júnior, marked a vital shift in the team’s strategy. Previously excluded due to rumors of a betting scandal, Paquetá’s inclusion in Júnior’s first team selection proved a fresh approach to the squad. The West Ham midfielder’s comeback was not just a personal victory but a statement of faith in his abilities and character. Still, why was he called up?


+ + Dorival Júnior knocks CBF’s harsh treatment of Lucas Paquetá during betting allegations

+ + Dorival Júnior announces first team call-up as Brazil’s coach for upcoming England and Spain matches

+ + The debutants in Dorival Junior’s first squad who rejuvenate Brazil

Rodrigo Caetano, the CBF’s director of national teams, addressed the media with a clear message about Paquetá’s situation. He emphasized that Paquetá, having faced no formal punishment or ongoing investigation, remains a vital asset to the team. His skill level and professionalism stand uncontested, reinforcing his selection.

Caetano also shared his personal connection with Paquetá, tracing back to the player’s days at Flamengo. He expressed satisfaction in witnessing Paquetá’s growth into an exceptional athlete, deserving of his place on the national team based on merit.

Amid a challenging phase for the Brazilian team, which hasn’t secured a win in four matches and currently ranks sixth in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, Dorival Júnior’s European tour with assistant coach Lucas Silvestre, his son, was crucial.

Their efforts led to the squad announcement that sets the stage for upcoming friendlies against England and Spain, and a match against Mexico, as part of the preparations for the Copa América in the United States.