In the end, there were no huge surprises. Even the exclusion of Atlético Madrid's Miranda, one of the best defenders in Europe this season, was no big shock as Luiz Felipe Scolari announced Brazil's World Cup squad in Rio on Wednesday afternoon. Selected for only one of the 20 Seleção games since "Big Phil" returned to the managerial seat in November 2012, Miranda was the victim of Scolari's faith in the group he rescued from a confidence crisis when he took over.
Seventeen of Scolari's chosen ones took part in last year's Confederations Cup, a warm-up tournament marred by civil unrest outside the stadiums, but the action inside them marked a turnaround in form for Brazil, in particular their 3-0 drubbing of the World and European champions Spain in the final.
Of the other six players to make the cut, even the centre-back Henrique, the Napoli player who made more headlines by wrecking a sports car a couple weeks ago then by solid displays for Rafael Benítez's team, has received more call-ups than Miranda.
There were no last-gasp returns for big names such as Kaká and Robinho. The latter had been tipped as a late entry after some convincing displays as a false No9 in two November friendlies when Brazil could not seem to find a striker fit enough to play.
So Scolari is sticking by the guys he has dragged from the hell of 22nd position in the Fifa rankings last year. Brazil are now sixth and once again feared, even though their 14 victories and four draws under Big Phil have come mostly in friendlies – the cursed privilege of tournament hosts.
Whether this squad will deliver Brazil their sixth world title and their first on home soil is another matter.
While the Seleção have clearly improved under the 2002 World Cup-winning manager from a team that had gone four years without victories against top sides, this is an untested squad in set to do battle in football's ultimate tournament.
Of the 23 names read by Felipão in Wednesday's ceremony – thanks to the whole interest in Brazilian football the announcement was hosted at a concert venue in Rio, attended by almost 900 journalists – only six have actually been to a World Cup. An even smaller number has seen proper action: Júlio César, Dani Alves, Maicon and Ramires were part of the 2010 squad that crashed out against Holland in the quarter-finals, while the striker Fred was Ronaldo's understudy in the 2006 campaign – the captain Thiago Silva watched the matches in South Africa from the bench.
This is hardly a vintage Brazil side when compared to the material Scolari had at his disposal 12 years ago in Japan and South Korea; Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Cafu and a young Ronaldinho were present. These days, Neymar is pretty much the sole star here for Brazil – even if his first season at Barcelona did not set La Liga on fire.
He is the top scorer, the focal point of the team and is only 22. Off-pitch controversies such as the financial shenanigans concerning his transfer from Santos to Catalonia have made more headlines than his promising glimpses with the ball.
Neymar will certainly be a target of special attention, which makes it even more important that the burden of creativity is shared by his team-mates. The problem is that the immediate candidates, Oscar and Paulinho, have each had a difficult second half of the season in England. Hulk, used as a mixture of battering ram and winger for his country, has had an interesting season, with 22 goals and 15 assists in 38 games, most of them in the Russian league, though.
A reliable goalscorer seems to be missing in a country once famous for them. Fred was a national hero last year with his incredible tally that included two against Spain in Rio, but injuries have restricted him to a single Seleção game since June. His immediate replacement is the former Manchester City and Everton flop Jô.
Another source of concern is Júlio César: after restricting himself to one outing in nine months for QPR, the 2010 Champions League winner with Internazionale had to arrange an emergency loan to the MLS side Toronto to get some playing time and avoid going to the World Cup as a motivational speaker for the side. It could be argued that the only baffling Scolari decision was to disregard the incredible season by Diego Alves at Valencia, capped last week by a shot-stopping masterclass against Real Madrid.
Before the accusations of pessimism start pouring in, it is important to say that Brazil should not be underestimated. Regardless of the immense pressure of playing at home, with memories of the 1950 final defeat to Uruguay still lingering and the expectations of 200m people on their shoulders, this is a group that has shown hunger and resilience – and produced some impressive results.
The World Cup draw has been tough on them: Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon in the group and then a meeting with either Spain, Holland or Chile in the round of 16. But they are in much better shape to challenge for the title than they were in November 2012.