Coach Fernando Diniz said that before Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Argentina, no player should feel like they have to step up in Neymar’s place since he has a torn anterior cruciate ligament and knee.
The leader, who is 31 years old, hurt his left knee while playing for his country and had surgery earlier this month. He will likely not be fully recovered until mid-2024.
Even though they lost their top scorer, Diniz doesn’t think a new star will appear on their young, talented team, which will play Colombia on Friday at 6 a.m. Bangladesh Time and the world champs Argentina on Wednesday at 6:30 a.m.
“No one needs to worry about filling Neymar’s shoes. “This group of kids is very talented,” the temporary coach told reporters on Wednesday.
“A lot of people can do this, but we shouldn’t put that much weight on them.” These people need to feel good and do their best. They’ll naturally be the centre of attention.”
In Neymar’s place, Diniz said that players like Raphinha of Barcelona, Rodrygo and Vinicius of Real Madrid, or Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal could shine.
The 39-year-old coach, who was just named Copa Libertadores winner, also called up young star Endrick to play for the five-time world champs for the first time.
“(Endrick) is here because of his merit and enormous future potential,” he said.
“We shouldn’t expect too much from Endrick, who is only 17 years old.” I see a lot of promise. “Time will tell if he becomes one of those legendary Brazilian football players,” he said of the forward for Palmeiras who will join Real Madrid in July.
With seven points, Brazil is tied for third place in the South American qualifying group with Uruguay, which is in second place, and Venezuela, which is in fourth place. Argentina is in first place with 12 points after four games.
They are in fifth place with six points.