Vinicius calls for patience as Brazil improvements acknowledged

By Sports Desk June 25, 2024

Vinicius Junior acknowledged that he and his team-mates must improve following their goalless draw with Costa Rica in their opening game of the Copa America. 

The nine-time champions were frustrated by their opponents at the SoFi Stadium, with Los Ticos becoming only the third CONCACAF side to keep a clean sheet against the Selecao Canarinho at the tournament after Mexico (2001 and 2007) and Honduras (2001).

Brazil registered 19 attempts at Patrick Sequeira's goal, but only three were on target, with Rodrygo (6) and Lucas Paqueta (5) having the majority of those chances. 

Vinicius failed to make an impact on proceedings in Los Angeles and was replaced by future Real Madrid team-mate Endrick for the final 20 minutes. 

The 23-year-old has now been substituted in Brazil's last six competitive matches and knows Dorival Junior's side must improve to achieve success at the tournament. 

"We know we can improve, we have to improve," Vinícius said. "I also know what I can improve, evolve and do for our team."

Vinicius, who scored 24 goals in 39 appearances for Los Blancos this season, arrived at the tournament with the weight of a nation on his shoulders with all-time leading scorer Neymar, out of the Copa America due to injury. 

The Real Madrid winger has registered just one assist in his last five appearances for his nation, but has called for patience from the Brazil fans. 

"New coach, new players, everything takes time," Vinícius said. "Our fans want everything immediately done, but we're going little by little. In the next game, I'm sure we'll play much better because we now already understand what the competition will be like, what the pitch, what the referees will be like.

"Every time I enter the field for the national team, I have three or four players marking me."

Brazil face Paraguay in Las Vegas on Saturday before concluding their Group D campaign against Colombia, who beat the Albirroja on Matchday 1. 

Related items

  • Manchester United bring in Dutch striker Zirkzee Manchester United bring in Dutch striker Zirkzee

    Manchester United have completed the signing of Joshua Zirkzee from Bologna for £35million (€42.5m).

    The Netherlands international, who was part of the side that reached the Euro 2024 semi-finals, has put pen to paper on a five-year deal at Old Trafford, with the option for a further year.

    Zirkzee is United's first major signing of the transfer window, as Erik ten Hag looks to improve on the Red Devils' disappointing eighth-place finish in the Premier League last season.

    The 23-year-old scored 11 Serie A goals last term as Bologna secured Champions League qualification for the first time in their history.

    Zirkzee told United's official website: "Having had discussions with the manager and the leaders of the club I know how exciting the future is going to be here and I cannot wait to play my part in achieving success for Manchester United.

    "I am a player who has always dedicated everything to winning; I’m ready for this next challenge, to go to another level in my career and win more trophies.

    "It is a privilege to join such an iconic club. I have to take a short break now after being with the national team, but I’ll be coming back ready to make an impact straight away."

    United sporting director Dan Ashworth believes the addition of Zirkzee, who outperformed his league expected goals (xG) of 9.0 by two goals last season, represents a major positive for the club.

    "Securing a forward to enhance our already strong group of attacking players was a key aim for this summer," Ashworth said.

    "We are delighted that we’ve managed to sign a player of Joshua’s calibre this early in the transfer window.

    "Joshua is an outstanding talent who is ready to make an impact for Manchester United. His ability and desire to grow into a world-class player means that he will be a great addition to the squad that we are building for the exciting season ahead and beyond."

    United are also interested in bringing Zirkzee's Netherlands team-mate Matthijs de Ligt, with the defender reportedly keen to leave Bayern Munich.

    Everton, meanwhile, have rejected two offers from United for centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite.

  • Southampton bolster defence with Sugawara signing Southampton bolster defence with Sugawara signing

    Southampton have announced the signing of Yukinari Sugawara from AZ.

    The right-back has signed a four-year contract after joining the club for a reported £6million fee.

    Sugawara initially joined AZ on loan in 2019, before making the move permanent the following season.

    In five years at the Dutch club, the Japan international made 198 appearances in all competitions, including a club-record 53 in Europe.

    Speaking to the club's media channels, he said: "To come to Southampton and to play in the Premier League is one of my biggest dreams since I was young, so I am really excited to be here.

    "I felt Southampton is a really good club. When Southampton gave me an offer, I said yes after one second!"

    Sugawara is the sixth addition to Southampton's squad in this transfer window following their return to the Premier League.

  • Malacia returns to individual training at Manchester United Malacia returns to individual training at Manchester United

    Manchester United have confirmed that defender Tyrell Malacia has stepped his fitness programme ahead of the 2024-25 Premier League season. 

    Malacia did not feature for Erik ten Hag's side last term due to injury, as the Red Devils won the FA Cup for 13th time against rivals Manchester City. 

    The Dutch defender arrived from Feyenoord for £15million in 2022, making 39 appearances in all competitions in a promising debut season at Old Trafford. 

    However, Malacia struggled with a knee meniscus injury towards the end of the 2022-23 campaign, requiring two surgeries, that latter coming in November last year. 

    That meant he had to restart his recovery, with the club announcing that the left-back had suffered a setback in his rehabilitation in December. 

    But the 22-year-old has been pictured at Carrington, doing individual work as he aims to be fit for the start of ten Hag's third season at the helm.

    Malacia last appearance came for the Netherlands against Croatia in the Nations League semi-final in June 2023. 

    Ten Hag will be hopeful to have the Dutch defender available for the new season, having spent much of last campaign without first choice left-back, Luke Shaw. 

    Shaw made just 12 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils last season and has not featured for the club since a 2-1 win over Luton back in February. 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.