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Brazil to face Uruguay without Vinicius, but with Endrick

Coach Dorival Jr opted for 17-year-old Endrick, also known as 'Messinho,' to take the striker's place and make his first start for the Brazilian squad.
Last Updated : 06 July 2024, 05:22 IST

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Brazil's teenage prodigy Endrick will replace Vinicius Jr, who is suspended for accumulating yellow cards, for Saturday's Copa America quarter-final against Uruguay at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Coach Dorival Jr opted for 17-year-old Endrick, also known as "Messinho," to take the striker's place and make his first start for the Brazilian squad.

"We've lost an important player, but we've gained a player who's coming into his own and is looking for an opportunity. Maybe this is Endrick's moment," Dorival told a press conference on Friday.

"I don't think Endrick is specifically a nine who plays fixed, he prefers a pivot. He's a player who floats, who moves around. The team is constantly evolving. That's why I said not to rush into anything with him. It's just a matter of time before we find the best formation," he added.

The 62-year-old boss, who took over in January and has now coached seven matches, has guided the squad into the last eight as Group D runners-up to Colombia with five points from three games.

"In total we've been together for 37 days, about 20 official training sessions, with everyone together, the whole squad. We've made a lot of progress and there are still a few things to iron out, but that's part of the process.

"There will always be criticism, no matter where you are in the table. The important thing is to find a healthy path for the team."

The coach added he did not want the Uruguay game to be seen as a defining moment, but acknowledged it was a great South American classic.

"It will be an important game for Brazil and for Uruguay too. It is a team that deserves all of our respect and I have no doubt that they will have problems against our team. These are teams that know and respect each other and we will have everything to play a great match," Dorival said.

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Published 06 July 2024, 05:22 IST

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