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Vinicius Jr receives first Brazil call-up

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Teenage sensation Vinicius Junior has received his maiden call-up to the Brazil senior team for next month’s international break.

The ‎Selecao will be in action for the first time this year in a pair of friendlies against Panama and Czech Republic as manager Tite prepares the squad for the 2019 Copa America.

Brazil will host the competition this summer and, therefore, are considered the strong favourites to win on home soil with Bolivia, Venezuela, and Peru awaiting them in Group A.

Now the Brazilian football association (CFB) announced on Twitter that Tite has decided to hand a first call-up to both Vinicius and his former Flamengo team-mate Lucas Paqueta, who joined AC Milan during the January transfer window.

The Brazil manager sent his assistant coach Sylvinho to observe the duo in action over the past few months and received positive feedback from the former Arsenal and Barcelona full-back.

Vinicius, in particular, has proven to be an exciting prospect ever since completing his €46m transfer from Flamengo to Real Madrid last summer.

After initially struggling to break into the first team, the 18-year-old forward has been nothing short of sensational since Santiago Solari was appointed as manager in October and gave him his big break.

Since then, the teenager has managed three goals and 12 assists in 26 appearances across all competitions for Los Blancos.

Meanwhile, Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho is understood to have almost made a comeback for Brazil following talks with Sylvinho after retiring at the end of the 2018 World Cup.

However, the 33-year-old’s muscle injury from City’s Carabao Cup win over Chelsea last Sunday has ruled him out for next month’s international break.

Brazil will take on Panama in Porto on March 23 and then the Czech Republic in Prague three days later.

Neither Neymar, who is still recovering from a foot injury, and Marcelo, who’s fallen down the pecking order at Real Madrid, have been named in the 23-man Brazil squad.