Vinicius Junior‘s approach to this World Cup in Qatar, his first, has been curious.
Just a year ago, his place with Brazil was very uncertain, being called up for the November break only after Roberto Firmino‘s injury.
But a few months ago he was considered a starter, boosted by a spectacular 2022; and a few weeks ago there were doubts about his presence in the starting XI.
The Real Madrid man has been at the center of the debates since the training camp in Turin. In Italy, because of the tests and what was cooking behind closed doors, it was thought to be very possible that Tite would bench him, a decision that would not have been appreciated in Brazil.
In Doha, the trend changed.
Globoesporte accessed a leaked image of a rehearsal in training and MARCA obtained more details and shots: they showed Vinicius with the theoretical starters.
In subsequent training sessions it was confirmed that these were the plans. Tite was worried about Serbia’s attacking power and considered protecting himself by moving Lucas Paqueta to the left of the attack and introducing Fred alongside Casemiro.
However, the message to his squad was to go out to press up front, to command and to score first.
For these objectives he considered Vinicius, whom he had put in the lineups in six of the nine matches played this year, as necessary. And he did not disappoint: constant in the 76 minutes he played, especially in the first half with a more apathetic Brazil, he was directly involved in the two goals.
With Neymar injured, and his presence in the round of 16 not certain, the spotlight will be on Vinicius from Monday, against Switzerland.