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Vinicius receives maiden Brazil call-up

By Opta
ViniciusJr - cropped

Brasilia, February 28: Vinicius Junior has been called into Brazil's senior squad for the first time ahead of next month's friendlies against Panama and Czech Republic.

The 18-year-old forward has become a key member of Real Madrid's first team under Santiago Solari since joining from Flamengo before the start of this season.

Vinicius turned in another dazzling display against Barcelona in Wednesday's Copa del Rey semi-final, although his end product was lacking and the game finished in a 3-0 defeat for Madrid.

But national team boss Tite has seen more than enough to be persuaded over the merits of adding the youngster to his forward line, while Vinicius' former Flamengo team-mate Lucas Paqueta has won a first call-up since joining AC Milan in the last transfer window.

Tite sent his assistant coach Sylvinho to watch Vinicius and Paqueta in action recently and the duo's trip to Europe almost yielded an international return for Fernandinho.

The Manchester City midfielder held talks with Tite and Sylvinho, agreeing to go back on his decision to retire from Brazil duty in the aftermath of the 2018 World Cup – only to suffer a hamstring injury during last weekend's EFL Cup triumph over Chelsea.

The games against Panama in Porto on March 23 and versus Czech Republic in Prague three days later are the final opportunities Tite will have to see Brazil in action before his country hosts the 2019 Copa America.

Brazil squad to face Panama and Czech Republic:

Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras); Dani Alves (Paris Saint-Germain), Danilo (Manchester City), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Eder Militao (Porto), Miranda (Inter), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain); Allan (Napoli), Felipe Anderson (West Ham), Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Everton (Gremio), Fabinho (Liverpool), Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan); Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Richarlison (Everton), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid).

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    Story first published: Thursday, February 28, 2019, 20:30 [IST]
    Other articles published on Feb 28, 2019
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