Brazil look to youth and Endrick to spark return to world beating form

November 7 – Brazil’s interim coach Fernando Diniz has called up Palmeiras’s Endrick for the first time ahead of the World Cup qualifiers with Colombia and Argentina.

Endrick is seen as the next big talent in Brazil and Diniz has rewarded the teenager’s recent outstanding form with a national team call-up. Pepê of Porto, João Pedro of Brighton and Paulinho of Atletico Mineiro also feature for the first time in the 23-men list, but both Neymar and Casemiro didn’t make it because of injury.

Aged 17, the Endrick becomes the youngest player to be called up since Ronaldo in 1994. Endrick will move to Real Madrid in 2024.

Diniz explained: “He is a player who has the potential to be one of the great talents. We don’t know if it will be confirmed. It’s not pressure. It’s an award and a future vision of what this kid can be. A boy born in 2006 producing what he produces catches my attention. And right now he is experiencing his best moment, playing against great teams in Brazil and managing to stand out.”

With seven points from four matches, including a defeat to Uruguay, Diniz, who won the Copa Libertadores with Fluminense on Saturday, is under pressure to reverse the fortunes of the Seleçao.

Diniz said: “When we lose to Uruguay, we have a lot to learn. I don’t feel more or less pressure. I will do my best for the team, as I always have. I have no satisfaction in losing, on the contrary, it irritates me deeply. There is total dedication to making things go well. There is no guarantee of results, but of fair and honest work, I give you that guarantee.”

The Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) also confirmed that Brazil will play England at Wembley in a friendly international in March.

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