Brazil national team coach Tite made a surprising move by snubbing Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr. when he called up players for the upcoming international break for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The Brazilian forward has had a breakthrough season with Los Blancos, scoring seven goals so far including an absolute scorcher against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League earlier this month.

Regardless of his impressive form on he club level, Vinicius Jr. won't be part of the Brazil squad when they face Colombia and Copa America holders Argentina in the World Cup qualifiers later this month.

Tite offered no explanation for the snub, but he also made another interesting move. Barcelona player Philippe Coutinho made it to the squad, despite having had a largely mediocre season with limited minutes played for the Blaugrana. He has not made much of an impact for the Catalan giants, who are currently sitting at 9th place in the La Liga table. for some reason, Tite has decided that he deserved a comeback after having been left out of the Seleçao since October 2020.

Antony and Raphinha of Ajax and Leeds United also made it to the squad, despite having more underwhelming seasons than the Real Madrid forward. The list of forwards also includes Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus, Matheus Cunha and Neymar Jr.

With Vini scoring seven goals and providing five assists for Real Madrid so far this season, it is quite a baffling move on Tite's part to exclude him from the squad. However, it does seem as though the coach had never really warmed up to the former Flamengo player. In the previous international break, he was only given 27 minutes on the pitch. He spent most of the time on the bench as Brazil faced Venezuela, Colombia and Uruguay.

Nevertheless, Tite seems to know what he is doing, with Brazil on top of the standings with 10 wins and a draw from 11 matches.

Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid's Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior celebrates after scoring against Barcelona OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP