Brazil call up Leeds forward Raphinha for World Cup qualifiers

Brazil head coach Tite has named uncapped Leeds United attacker Raphinha in his squad for World Cup qualifiers against Chile, Argentina and Peru.

The 24-year-old has shone since joining Leeds from France’s Rennes in October last year, helping the West Yorkshire club finish in the top half of the table in their first season in England’s top flight since the 2003-04 season, reports Xinhua.

“We have been following Raphinha for a long time, since Leeds were promoted to the top tier,” coach Tite said. “He has a real talent for dribbling. He scores important goals, decisive goals and we analyse that kind of things a lot. He brings us pace and skill.”

Tite also recalled veteran full-back Dani Alves, who missed Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers and Copa America campaign in June and July because of the Tokyo Olympics.

Brazil will meet Chile away on September 2 before home clashes against Argentina and Peru on September 5 and 9, respectively.

The five-time World Champions currently lead the 10-team South American zone World Cup qualifying standings with six wins from as many matches.

The top four teams at the end of the qualifiers will earn a direct berth at football’s showpiece tournament in Qatar next year while the fifth-ranked side will advance to an intercontinental playoff.