ESPN Brasil report that Gabriel Magalhaes is set to be in the starting lineup for Brazil against Bolivia in their opening 2026 World Cup qualifier on Friday night (or Saturday morning at 01:45 BST for those in the UK).
According to the report, Fernando Diniz will start the following team: Ederson, Danilo, Marquinhos, Gabriel, Renan Lodi, Casemiro, Bruno Guimaraes, Neymar, Raphinha, Rodrygo, Richarlison.
As a result, it seems Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli are set for spots on the bench. Both are involved with Brazil over the current break, but not in the predicted lineup.
Jesus and Martinelli have played for Brazil before, even travelling to the World Cup in the winter, but this would be Gabriel Magalhaes’ first appearance for his country.
Despite the centre-back’s involvement in previous Brazil camps in November 2021 and January 2022, he never made it onto the pitch.
Then there was controversy between the player and former Brazil management, with suggestions that Gabriel had been dropped after choosing to prioritise the birth of his child.
Former coordinator for the Brazil national team, Juninho Paulista, recently gave an interview to the Brazilian media on the topic.
According to Juninho, Gabriel’s absence from the World Cup squad was related to his asking to be left out of a couple of World Cup qualifiers last March for his child’s birth.
“These are choices,” Juninho said. “I went through that. My son was born, I was waiting in England and the next day I came to Brazil because I had injured my knee and needed to recover as quickly as possible.
“My wife stayed there for 40 days alone, with the babysitter’s help. Did that hurt? When weighing you’re going to put everything on the scale and it’s inevitable, you’re going to put it all on the scale.”
Thankfully, it seems the new people in charge with the Brazilian national team have seen sense and thrown him back into the mix.