Brazil Boss Tite Issues Copa America Warning to Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr.

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 5: Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League  match between Real Madrid v Ajax at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 5, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Brazil manager Tite has warned Real Madrid youngster Vinicius Jr. "he's going to have to play very well in his club" if he is to make the Copa America squad after missing the recent international break due to injury. 

The 18-year-old picked up an ankle injury earlier this month and is expected to be out of action until May.

As a result, he missed Brazil's friendlies against Panama and Czech Republic, their last scheduled matches until the start of the 2019 Copa America.

Brazil's head coach Tite stands on the sidelines during the friendly football match between the Czech Republic and Brazil at the Sinobo Arena in Prague, Czech Republic on March 26, 2019. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JOE KLA
JOE KLAMAR/Getty Images

Ajax forward David Neres stepped in and made a good impression, and Tite said Vinicius missed a good chance to stake his claim to be involved in the summer, per Sacha Pisani of Goal:

"Vinicius missed an opportunity. He's going to have to play very well in his club. Neres is going to have to continue playing very well, just as Richarlison entered a situation where Pedro was injured."

Brazil are hosting the 2019 tournament and have Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru in their group.

Vinicius looked well set to be involved until he picked up his injury in Real's humiliating 4-1 home defeat to Ajax in the UEFA Champions League on March 5.

That loss saw Los Blancos knocked out of the competition they have won the last three seasons, and it came at the end of the week where they were eliminated from the Copa del Rey and effectively had their La Liga hopes ended by Barcelona.

In a largely miserable season for Real, Vinicius has been one of the bright sparks as he has shown he could be a superstar after making his move to the Santiago Bernabeu from Flamengo last summer.

However, former manager Santiago Solari's reliance on the teenager was indicative of wider problems with the Real squad:

Simon Harrison @simonhfootball

Big shame for Vinicius to pick up an injury, as he has been great recently and has made his mark in Madrid way ahead of schedule. Aside from that, Sergio Ramos will be mortified at the idea of going out during a fixture that he saw fit to deliberately miss.

Vinicius was arguably over-used in the early months of 2019, which could potentially have led to his injury.

Given he is not scheduled to return to action until very late in the season, Vinicius may have to resign himself to missing out on the Copa America after Tite's comments.