Soccer-Vinicius Jr, Joelinton in Brazil squad for June friendlies

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - LaLiga - Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - May 24, 2023 Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior was among 23 players named in Brazil's squad on Sunday for friendlies against Guinea and Senegal next month, his first national team call up after being racially abused in a match at Valencia earlier this month.

The games against the two African countries are part of an anti-racism campaign by Brazil in support of 22-year-old Vinicius Jr, who last week suffered racist insults from fans -the 10th time this season he has been abused in LaLiga.

Five-time world champions Brazil will face Guinea in Barcelona on June 17 and Senegal in Lisbon three days later.

The squad announced by acting Brazil manager Ramon Menezes also features four players who have been called up for the first time, including Newcastle United midfielder Joelinton.

"There is always room in the national team for players performing well," Menezes, who coaches the Under-20 team currently playing at the World Cup in Argentina, told a press conference.

"But you'll notice that in every position there are players who played at the World Cup, which is important so they can provide support for those who are being called up for the first time."

Defenders Vanderson, Nino and Ayrton Lucas are the other players called up for the first time.

Menezes has been acting manager since Tite left the national team after the World Cup. The Brazilian FA has been eyeing Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti to take the post, but the Italian has said he will honour the last year of his club contract.


Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras)

Defenders: Danilo (Juventus), Vanderson (Monaco), Alex Telles (Sevilla), Ayrton Lucas (Flamengo), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris St Germain), Ibanez (Roma), Nino (Fluminense)

Midfielders: Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton (both Newcastle United), Andre (Fluminense), Casemiro (Manchester United), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham United), Raphael Veiga (Palmeiras)

Forwards: Malcom (Zenit), Pedro (Flamengo), Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspur), Rony (Palmeiras), Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior (both Real Madrid)

(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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