Real Madrid youngster Rodrygo earns first call-up to Brazil squad

By Sports Desk October 25, 2019

Teenage Real Madrid forward Rodrygo Goes has been included in Brazil's squad for the first time ahead of next month's friendlies with Argentina and South Korea.

The 18-year-old made his first competitive start for Madrid in Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win against Galatasaray, having also made a couple of substitute appearances in LaLiga this season.

Rodrygo is joined in Tite's 23-man squad by fellow newcomer Douglas Luiz, who has performed well in the Premier League since joining Aston Villa from Manchester City in July.

There is no place for fellow Madrid players Vinicius Junior and Marcelo, while injured Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar also misses out, but Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson returns to the squad after recovering from a calf injury.

Brazil take on South American rivals Argentina in Saudi Arabia in three weeks and then travel to Abu Dhabi for a friendly with South Korea.

The Copa America holders enter the match without a win in their past four outings - all friendlies - and Tite is looking for an improvement as preparations continue for next year's World Cup qualifiers.

"I was not satisfied with our performances and results," he said at a news conference on Friday.

"But we have played in three competitive competitions. In the first, we formatted the team. The second, we reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup. In the Copa America, we won the title.

"Now we are at a new stage of the preparations, preparing for the qualifiers."

Brazil squad in full:

Alisson (Liverpool), Daniel Fuzato (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City); Alex Sandro (Juventus), Danilo (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Emerson (Real Betis), Felipe (Atletico Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain); Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Fabinho (Liverpool), Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan), Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich); David Neres (Ajax), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Richarlison (Everton), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Willian (Chelsea).

Related items

  • Madrid's Jovic absolutely world class, says Eintracht boss Hutter Madrid's Jovic absolutely world class, says Eintracht boss Hutter

    Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Adi Hutter hailed the "greatness" of Luka Jovic following his stunning start to life back in the Bundesliga.

    Jovic scored two goals in his return for Eintracht last week after re-joining the German club on loan until the end of the season, having endured a difficult period at LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

    The Serbia international only scored twice in 32 appearances under Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane in the Spanish capital, where he arrived for €60million in 2019.

    But Jovic came off the bench and scored twice in 28 minutes as Eintracht defeated Schalke 3-1 in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

    Jovic matched his Madrid tally in the stunning cameo for Eintracht, where the 23-year-old netted 27 goals in 2018-19 before making the move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Previewing Wednesday's showdown with Freiburg, Hutter discussed Jovic and his partnership with Eintracht star Andre Silva.

    "Strikers are always a bit egotistical, but when it is about the team or Eintracht Frankfurt, everyone puts their ego aside," Hutter told reporters.

    "Luka [Jovic] does that sovereignly. When you bring back someone who had his best time here and scored 27 goals in a year, then gets loaned out and scores two goals in 32 games, and then comes back and scores two goals in about 25 minutes, it's logical that the attention is more on that than on Andre Silva's 12th goal of the season.

    "But when you hear Luka's statements that it is an honour for him to play in a team with Andre, it shows the greatness and character of Luka and it shows the respect he has for Andre Silva. I have spoken to Andre before and he said that competition is very important for him and that quality in the team is important. That doesn't bother him at all.

    "I also can't imagine that Andre Silva, who has previously played for Milan and Sevilla, can't handle competition. I think he has also seen that Luka is another striker with whom he can harmonise.

    "As always, I'm keeping a low profile. He [Luka Jovic] has shown in this short season that he is an absolute world-class striker with a high calibre. We'll leave it open as to whether he'll play from the start [against Freiburg]."

    Silva's goal to open the scoring against Schalke was his 12th of the season, taking him level with Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland – only Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski (21) has more in 2020-21.

    Eintracht – eighth in the standings – are the only team to win all three of their Bundesliga games in 2021 and have now won four on the bounce in the league for the first time since early 2019.

  • Messi to Inter? Only if Zanetti convinces him, says Veron Messi to Inter? Only if Zanetti convinces him, says Veron

    Lionel Messi is free to negotiate a move to clubs outside LaLiga and Juan Sebastian Veron thinks Javier Zanetti will be key to Inter's hopes of signing the Barcelona superstar.

    Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi is in the final six months of his contract at Camp Nou, having failed to engineer a move away during the close season.

    The 33-year-old has long been linked with a switch to Serie A giants Inter, where his former Argentina team-mate Zanetti – the Albiceleste's most-capped player of all time – is vice-president.

    Former Nerazzurri and Argentina midfielder Veron does not expect Messi to be at Inter next season, but believes it will be down to Zanetti if he does complete a move to San Siro.

    "I don't think he can go to Italy. If he will, it is because of Javier Zanetti, who knows him and will try to talk to him, making him feel important again and to explaining the future projects of the club," Veron told Stats Perform News.

    "At the end of the day it is purely Messi's decision. But if Inter want to make an attempt, they have to use seduction and get to his heart to draw him near. 

    "I don't know how many more years Messi wants to play at this level, but if you want to sign him, Inter have to make Messi their flagship and make clear they want to be at the top level."

    After a 2-0 victory over Juventus on Sunday, Inter sit second in Serie A three points behind leaders Milan.

    Antonio Conte's side have not been lacking in attack this term, though, with Romelu Lukaku (12 goals, three assists) and Lautaro Martinez (nine goals, three assists) developing a potent partnership in the league.

    No forward in Serie A to have played at least 10 games this season has had more Opta-defined 'big chances' than Lukaku, whose tally of 20 is only matched by Edin Dzeko and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Belgium international has the best conversion rate of the trio, scoring from 12 such openings for a 60 per cent success ratio. Ronaldo is second on 55 per cent, while Dzeko is third on 35 per cent.

    Messi has scored 11 goals and assisted two more in LaLiga this term, while converting 58.3 per cent (seven out of 12) of his big chances.

    The Barca captain's 35 key passes are only bettered by Iago Aspas (37), and his 100 attempts on goal in the Spanish top flight this season are almost twice as many as Karim Benzema (51) in second.

  • Huntelaar leaves Ajax to join Schalke survival push: 'I want to play my part!' Huntelaar leaves Ajax to join Schalke survival push: 'I want to play my part!'

    Klaas Jan Huntelaar is heading back to Schalke for one last mission in his career after leaving Ajax to join a battle to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.

    The 37-year-old former Milan and Real Madrid striker recently announced he would retire at the end of this season, and Huntelaar now says he wants to "play my part" in saving lowly Schalke.

    He previously played for Schalke from 2010 until 2017, scoring 126 goals for the Royal Blues before heading to Ajax, and he departs the Dutch giants to join a team now coached by Christian Gross.

    Schalke sit bottom of the Bundesliga with seven points from 16 games, having won only once in the league this season.

    Huntelaar told Schalke's website: "We need to win games and score goals to climb up the table. I want to play my part in the club staying up. Schalke belongs in the Bundesliga and it's our responsibility to make sure that we stay here."

    The moves means Huntelaar's Ajax playing career is over after a second spell in Amsterdam, having first caught the eye there from 2006-08, opening the door to his San Siro and Santiago Bernabeu stints and a career in the Netherlands national team.

    In all, Huntelaar scored 158 goals in 257 official games for Ajax. He won an Eredivisie title in the 2018-19 season.

    Marc Overmars, director of football at Ajax, said it was the honourable thing to do to let Huntelaar ride to the rescue of his old team.

    "It was Klaas Jan's wish to help Schalke avoid relegation in the last four months of his career," Overmars told Ajax's website.

    "We thought it was important for him to let this move go through and fill his shoes internally with Lassina Traore and Brian Brobbey. We wish the best for Klaas Jan with this transfer and thank him very much for everything he has done for Ajax."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.