Advertisement

Endrick to start for Brazil in Uruguay Copa clash: Dorival

Teenage striker <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/3639194/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Endrick;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Endrick</a> will make his first international start for <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/teams/brazil/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Brazil;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Brazil</a> in Saturday's Copa America quarter-final clash with <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/teams/uruguay/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Uruguay;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Uruguay</a> (Patrick T. Fallon)

Rising teenage star Endrick will be handed his first start for Brazil in their crunch Copa America quarter-final clash with Uruguay, Brazil coach Dorival Jr. said Friday.

Endrick, 17, will come into the starting line-up to replace the suspended Vinicius Jr, who collected his second yellow card of the tournament in Tuesday's draw with Colombia.

Endrick, who will join Real Madrid at the end of the tournament, will form a front three alongside Raphinha and Rodrygo for Saturday's game at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

It will be the biggest test to date of Endrick's fledgling international career, which so far has comprised nine games, all of them as a substitute.

Dorival said while Brazil had initially planned to bring on Endrick slowly, he was confident he was ready to start against Uruguay.

"We lost a very important player of course," Dorival said referring to Vinicius Jr's suspension. "But we gained a player who is emerging, looking for an opportunity. Maybe this is Endrick's moment.

"We always said that we did not want to rush Endrick and that at the right time he would be given the opportunity."

At 17 years and 11 months, he is the second-youngest player in the Copa America after Ecuador's Kendry Paez, who is 17 years and one month old.

Endrick, who signed for Real Madrid from Brazilian club Palmeiras in a $64 million deal, has made an impressive start to his international football career.

He scored his maiden international goal in a 1-0 victory over England at Wembley in March and then grabbed two more in friendlies against Spain and Mexico.

Asked before the tournament when he expected to make his first start for the "Selecao", Endrick replied: "Only god and Professor Dorival know. I'll keep working and waiting. Nobody needs to skip stages."

Dorival, meanwhile, said Brazil were under no illusions about the challenge of facing a Uruguay team who finished top of their first round group with a 100% record.

"They are a team that deserves all our respect," the Brazilian coach said.

"This could be a semi-final or the final of the Cup. We are rivals who know each other and respect each other and it will be a great match."

gbv/rcw/bb