Teenage star Vinicius Junior has been exceptional at Real Madrid and fully deserves a call-up to the Brazil team, says manager Tite.
The 18-year-old forward has been short of sensational in his debut campaign at Real following a €46m transfer from Flamengo last summer.
In 26 appearances this season, Vinicius has managed three goals and 12 assists for the European champions and proved to be their main threat once more in an otherwise disappointing 3-0 Copa del Rey defeat to Barcelona on Wednesday.
Now Tite has acknowledged Vinicius’ progress at Real by handing him his maiden call-up to the Brazil senior team for next month’s international break.
The teenager will link-up for Brazil’s friendlies against Panama in Porto on March 23 and the Czech Republic at Prague three days later.
“I’m open to the emergence of new talent and to encourage them,” said Tite, according to SportsStar.
“If they are prepared to fight to be in excellent teams, technically and emotionally.
“This has led to him [Vinicius] being called up. He’s had around 30… 26 matches, and that’s remarkable, the performances he’s giving.
“This analysis is quantitative but also qualitative. But quantity gives us the information. Players who have such potential and who are showing it, are called up.
“Even though we’ll have little time to train, I want to give him the opportunity of growing and improving. This is confirmation [of his talent] and the evolution of it.”
Vinicius’ former Flamengo team-mate Lucas Paqueta, who joined AC Milan during the January transfer window, has also been called up to the Brazil squad for the first time.
Although Fernandinho and Neymar will be absent for next month’s international break due to injuries, while Marcelo hasn’t been included amid his struggles to regain his place in the Real Madrid team recently.
Brazil will likely use their upcoming friendlies as preparation for the upcoming 2019 Copa America tournament this summer, which they will host.
📝 Convocação da #SeleçãoBrasileira
Firmino – Liverpool
Vinícius Jr. – Real Madrid
Gabriel Jesus – Manchester City
Richarlison – Everton pic.twitter.com/Zs8L60ThaS
— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) February 28, 2019