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Real Madrid's Vinicius earns first Brazil call up, Marcelo left out

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior received his first international call up after Tite included him in the Brazil squad for friendlies against Panama and Czech Republic on March 23 and 26.

Vinicius, 18, has become a fixture in Santiago Solari's Madrid side this season, contributing four goals in 26 appearances since joining from Flamengo in the summer for €45 million.

"He's at a very demanding club," Tite told reporters. "I want to give him that growth, affirmation and evolution.

"Him participating, being in the dressing-room, feeling the weight of the yellow jersey, is important."

Vinicius added on Twitter: "It's a day to remember forever. Almost two years as a professional and I've played 100 games at only 18! I've been called up to the Brazil national team to represent my country for the first time.

"I admit I'm happy but surprised ... the speed at which everything is happening in my life and I thank everyone who in some way helped me to arrive here."

The absence of Neymar due to a foot injury has presented Vinicius with an opportunity to make a claim for a place in the Copa America squad, with this summer's tournament taking place in Brazil.

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain's Dani Alves, who missed the World Cup through injury, is back in Tite's squad. 

Alves, who has played 108 games for Brazil in 12 years with the national team, last played for Brazil in March 2018.

He wrote on Instagram: "Thank you for my dedication, thank you for my commitment to my profession, thank you for the hours dedicated to my work, thank you for not giving up on myself and my goals, thank you for my "RESILIENCE" and thank you to me for always believing in me !!! happy to continue to represent Brazil!"

However, Real Madrid's Marcelo, who has come in for criticism in Spain this season, was one of the big-name omissions and Brazil assistant coach Sylvinho said a lack of playing time was behind his absence.

"We are not worried about his form," he said. "He has an impressive history. He is a player of an impressive technical level besides his experience ... The more he plays for Madrid or another team, the better it will be for us." 

The five-times world champions have won all six of their games since being knocked out the World Cup at the quarter-final stage in Russia last July.

Their next competitive matches will come in the Copa America, which kicks off in Sao Paulo in June.

Full Brazil squad

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras).

Defenders: Alex Sandro (Juventus), Dani Alves (PSG), Danilo (Manchester City), Eder Militao (Porto), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Marquinhos (PSG), Miranda (Inter Milan), Thiago Silva (PSG).

Midfielders: Allan (Napoli), Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fabinho (Liverpool), Felipe Anderson (West Ham), Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona).

Forwards: Everton (Gremio), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Richarlison (Everton), Vinicius Jnr. (Real Madrid).

Information from Reuters and ESPN FC's Adriana Garcia was used in this report.

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