Benfica striker gets Brazil call-up for Copa America

Rio de Janeiro, May 22 (IANS) Benfica striker Jonas has been called up by Brazil coach Dunga to replace the injured Ricardo Oliveira for next month’s centenary edition of the Copa America.

Oliveira was ruled out of the tournament in the US after suffering a knee injury while playing for Santos in their 1-0 loss to Atletico Mineiro in Brazil’s Serie A last weekend, according to a Brazilian football confederation statement on Saturday, reports Xinhua.

“I am very happy about being called up. It caps up off a great season,” Jonas said on Saturday.

“It’s an honour to represent the national team. I am at the disposition of Dunga for whatever he heads. We are going to the US to win. The only thing that I’m disappointed about is the injury to Ricardo, who is a great teammate.”

Jonas has been capped nine times since making his international debut in Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Scotland in 2011.

The 32-year-old was the top scorer in Portugal’s Primeira Liga this season with 32 goals from 34 matches.

Brazil will face Panama in a friendly in Denver on May 29 before debuting in the Copa America against Ecuador in Pasadena on June 4.

Brazil’s remaining group matches are against Haiti in Orlando on June 8 and Peru in Boston four days later.

The final will be played at the 83,000-seat MetLife stadium in New Jersey on June 26.



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