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FIFA U-17 World Cup’s biggest star Vinicius Jr. to miss event, jolt for Brazil

Vinicius Junior, who has been signed by La Liga giant Real Madrid, will miss the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India. The Brazilian footballer’s current club Flamengo has refused to release him for the tournament

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Sep 30, 2017 10:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New delhi
FIFA U-17 World Cup,Vinicius Junior,Brazil football team
Vinicius Junior, who has been signed by Real Madrid, will not be part of Brazil squad for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.(NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Vinicius Junior, Brazil U-17 football star, will not be travelling to India for the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup, the Team Media Officer confirmed on Saturday. The tournament starts on October 6.

“It is confirmed Vinicius Junior will not travel to India for the U-17 World Cup,” Gregório Fernandes said.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Strong Brazil team ready for tournament ‘of equality’

The 17-year-old forward, who plays for Flamengo and has been signed by Real Madrid for €45 million, was earlier slated to land in Mumbai on Saturday. However, according to ESPN, the Brazilian’s current club decided to not release him for international duty after their loss in Copa do Brasil final to Cruzeiro on Thursday.

The Brazilian, who has already signed a contract with Champions League holders Real Madrid, helped his side win the Under-17 South American Championship scoring seven goals and was also named as the tournament’s best player.

Flamengo manager Reinaldo Rueda revealed the reason for their decision. “It was a situation analysed by the board, with the coaches and with Vinicius,” he said. “We want the best for him. He’s a conscientious, smart player, important for the national team.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Brazil arrive in quest to regain old glory

“But he has not taken part in the weeks of preparation. He knows that he can come and help, but also wants to respect that.

“He knows that the national team has good players and he will stay with us. We hope the national team has success in the World Cup.”

Brazil have been placed in Group D along with Spain, Niger and North Korea. They will play the group matches in Kochi.

(With inputs from IANS)

First Published: Sep 30, 2017 09:47 IST