RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Chelsea winger Willian has been drafted into Brazil’s squad for the Copa America, the Brazilian Football Confederation said on Friday.
There had been speculation Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior could be called up, but head coach Tite has instead opted for Willian.
The 30-year-old replaces star forward Neymar, who was ruled out of the tournament after injuring his right ankle ligament during Brazil’s 2-0 friendly win over Qatar on Wednesday.
Willian will have to cut short a holiday in Israel and is expected to join Brazil’s squad in Porto Alegre this weekend.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk and Corinthians player last represented his country in a 1-0 friendly victory over Cameroon last November.
Hosts Brazil will kick off the Copa America against Bolivia in São Paulo on June 14th before facing Peru and Venezuela in Group A.
The five-time world champions will fine-tune their preparations for the continental tournament with a friendly against Honduras in Porto Alegre on Sunday.