Can Roma's Leandro Castan Make Brazil's World Cup Squad?

By Ian Capasso
Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports

Leandro Castan was crucial once more for Roma as the capital club secured a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina on Sunday at the Stadio Olimpico.

The hulking center-back dealt expertly with the threat of Serie A top-scorer Giuseppe Rossi throughout the contest, epitomized by his crucial intervention late as the Italy international prepared to pull the trigger on a potential equalizer, marking him almost entirely out of the game alongside partner Mehdi Benatia.

After seeing mixed fortunes in his first season in the capital following his summer 2012 move from Corinthians, leading to speculation of a departure in the most recent transfer window, the 27-year-old has flourished under new boss Rudi Garcia as part of the Italian top flight’s most miserly back line.

Roma have conceded just five goals to date en route to an unbeaten record that sees them three points from the summit of the table. Castan has played all but 90 of the 1350 minutes on offer through the Giallorossi’s opening 15 fixtures, missing out against Torino on Nov. 3 only due to a suspension for yellow card accumulation.

And with the World Cup next summer approaching and Castan in the best form of his career, the mind can’t help but begin to wonder if he has a chance at being included in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Selecao squad to compete for international football’s most coveted silverware in his homeland.

The Brazilian has featured for his country before, receiving his maiden call under now-departed manager Mano Menezes, but hasn’t yet been able to establish himself as a regular call-up. With Dante, Thiago Silva, David Luiz and former Roma teammate Marquinhos among others, Castan still has much to prove if he is to make the final cut with a wealth of talent in the Selecao back line.

Yet at the level the 27-year-old is performing at, it certainly isn’t an impossible task. The key for Castan will be maintaining his current form throughout the term for his club to force recognition from Scolari, with his inclusion last fall under Menezes ensuring that he is at least on the new boss’ radar and is a capable individual.

He’s certainly on the right path at the most vital moment, and consistency will only boost the chances of Castan achieving what is surely a dream in representing Brazil on the world stage.

With any luck and the continuance of the determination he’s shown in powering Garcia’s Giallorossi to a dream start in Serie A, he just might be wearing the Selecao’s famed colors come time for their opener against Croatia on June 12.

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