Leeds winger Raphinha earns maiden Brazil call up for World Cup qualifiers… but Premier League stars may MISS first games back after international break due to packed South American schedule
- Leeds winger Raphina has earned his first ever call up to the Brazil squad
- Brazil face World Cup qualifiers against Peru, Argentina and Chile in September
- But his call up is not good news for Leeds as he could miss their Liverpool clash
Leeds United winger Raphinha was called up by Brazil for the first time on Friday and will join the squad for September’s s triple header of World Cup qualifiers against Chile, Argentina and Peru.
But Leeds might not be able to count on the player when they return to Premier League action following the international break due to the congested South American qualifying campaign.
Brazil are away to Chile on September 2 and Argentina on September 5 and then face Peru at home on September 9, after FIFA approved an application from the South American confederation, CONMEBOL, to squeeze in an extra game after previous matches were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Raphinha has earned his first call up to the Brazil squad for September’s World Cup qualifiers
But he may end up missing Leeds’ Premier League clash with Liverpool as a result
If Raphina remains in the squad for the final fixture against Peru he is unlikely to be able to play for Leeds at home to Liverpool on September 12, as the time difference means he would be unlikely to return to England until September 11.
Many other clubs are also set to be affected by South American sides playing three qualifiers in one international window, with the teams needing far more time to traipse across the vast continent than European sides.
Liverpool’s Alisson Becker, Fabinho, Roberto Firmino have all been called up by Brazil coach Tite as usual, as have Manchester City duo Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, Manchester United’s Fred and Everton’s Richarlison.
And even more Premier League players are set to be involved as the likes of Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru prepare to name their squads.
Brazil, the five times world champions, top the South American qualifying group with six wins from six games.
Brazil, Argentina and the other South America nations will play three qualifiers in September
Tite said he had been looking at Raphina for a while.
‘We’ve been following Raphinha for a long time, since Leeds were promoted to the top tier,’ the coach said.
‘He has a real talent for dribbling. He scores important goals, decisive goals and we analyse that kind of thing a lot. He brings us pace and skill.’
Six players from the Brazil team that won gold at the Tokyo Olympics were also included in the squad, including the 38-year-old Dani Alves and newcomer Claudinho, who recently completed a move from Red Bull Bragantino to Zenit St Petersburg.
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