Brazil call up Ajax star David Neres as Vinicius Junior replacement

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After scoring in the match which saw his countryman injured, the attacker is in line for his first cap for the Selecao

Ajax star David Neres is set to make his senior team debut for Brazil after he was called into the squad as an injury replacement for Real Madrid attacker Vinicius Junior.

Both young Brazilians were in the starting lineup for their respective clubs on Tuesday as Real Madrid hosted Ajax in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

It was a night to forget for the defending champions as the Amsterdam club overturned a 2-1 first-leg defeat with a 4-1 victory at the Bernabeu – a result made worse when Vinicius was forced off with a severe calf injury that will keep him out for most of the remainder of the season.

Neres, meanwhile, found plenty of joy on the evening as he scored his side’s second goal in the surprise result that sent the Dutch side into the quarter-finals.

The 22-year-old has enjoyed a productive season thus far for Ajax, scoring three goals and adding eight assists in the Eredivisie, while chipping in a goal and two assists in the Champions League.

And his production has earned him the chance to earn his first cap for the Brazil national team, with the federation announcing he will take the injured Vinicius’ place on the roster for their March friendlies.

“They are two young talents who have achieved prominence in championships of high competitiveness and were summoned because of their demonstrated performance in recent matches,” team coordinator Edu Gaspar said in a statement.

“We are a committee that is close to the players and I made a point of calling them and welcoming David and our support to Vinícius for a strong recovery.”

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Brazil face Panama March 23 in Portugal while they will meet the Czech Republic in Prague three days later.

Neres, who has represented Brazil at U-20 level in the past, will be looking to make a favourable impression on head coach Tite in an effort to forcing himself into the reckoning for this summer’s Copa America.

The five-time world champions are hosts, and are in Group A alongside Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru.

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