Raphinha, a winger for Barcelona, was called up to the Brazilian national team on Tuesday to replace Vinicius Junior, a top player for Real Madrid, who is out with an injury. The call came as Brazil began their qualifying campaign for the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in Brazil.
Vinicius, who limped off early in Madrid’s 1-0 La Liga win against Celta Vigo on Friday, will reportedly be sidelined for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury. This will keep him out of Brazil’s qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru on September 8 and 12, respectively. Vinicius went off early in Madrid’s win against Celta Vigo on Friday.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said that the injured star, who is 23 years old, would be replaced by Raphinha, who was chosen by coach Fernando Diniz.
Raphinha, now 26 years old, was a member of Brazil’s national team (the “Selecao”) when they competed in the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. At that tournament, the five-time defending champions were ousted by Croatia in the quarterfinals.
After being shown a red card in Barcelona’s first league encounter of the season against Getafe and being subsequently suspended for the club’s following two matches, he has had a difficult beginning to the new campaign.
Neymar, who is 31 years old and arrived in Saudi Arabia this month to begin a lucrative contract with Al-Hilal, will be the one to lead the attack for Brazil as they begin their pursuit of a long-awaited sixth World Cup victory. Vinicius’s absence will allow Neymar to take on this responsibility.
However, the head coach of Neymar’s new club, Jorge Jesus of Portugal, has cast some doubt on the player’s ability to perform his duties for the national team. Jesus stated that the player suffered a small ailment.