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Vinicius Junior likely to be named on bench as Brazil take on Colombia

Tite is likely to name Vinicius Junior on the bench for Saturday’s friendly against Colombia.

Tite is likely to name Vinicius Junior (pictured) on the bench for Saturday’s friendly against Colombia (Paul White/AP)
Tite is likely to name Vinicius Junior (pictured) on the bench for Saturday’s friendly against Colombia (Paul White/AP)

By PA Sport Staff

Brazil coach Tite has warned too much is expected of teenage Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior.

Tite is likely to name Vinicius Junior on the bench for Saturday’s friendly against Colombia at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, which will also mark the return to action of Neymar.

Vinicius Junior has been criticised for being inconsistent since being signed by Real in the summer of 2018 from Flamengo for £38.7million.

He scored four goals in 31 appearances in all competitions last season and has featured in three LaLiga games this campaign.

“His irregularity is something natural for a boy of his age,” Tite told a press conference.

“I spoke a lot with him during these days and he is an amazing lad that has extraordinary talent. He has six or seven goals and incredible speed.

“When we see him playing in Madrid, we overvalue his ability to mature. Things are happening very quickly in his life.

“At times we forget that he is only 19 years old. We have to give him time and take care of him.

“He still has to perfect a lot of things, but his natural talent is bigger than everything he needs to improve on.

“He also has to work hard on an emotional level and look after himself. He has a charisma like no other and everyone loves him. He has earned everyone’s love.”

The friendly against Colombia will be Neymar’s first game in three months after he sprained an ankle before Brazil triumphed in the Copa America.

The world’s most expensive player failed to seal a return to Barcelona from Paris St Germain before the European transfer window closed, but is poised to start in Miami.

Brazil are unbeaten in 18 matches since being knocked out of the 2018 World Cup by Belgium in the quarter-finals and beat Peru 3-1 in the Copa America final in July, while Colombia reached the last eight.

PA

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