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Real Madrid prodigy set for first international start in blockbuster Copa America clash

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Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Fans will be treated to a blockbuster encounter in the Copa America this weekend as Brazil take on Uruguay in the quarterfinals at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Brazil have been off-colour in the tournament and await a huge test against Uruguay, who have been performing very well so far in the USA.

Endrick in for Vinicius Jr.

Heading into the game, Brazil were dealt a huge blow as star man Vinicius Jr. was suspended for the quarter-final clash.

Indeed, the Real Madrid forward will miss the monumental encounter through suspension for accumulation of cards after he picked up his second yellow card in the competition against Colombia.

But as they say, one man’s misery is another man’s fortune.

With Vinicius ruled out of the Uruguay clash, another Real Madrid forward, Endrick, is set to start for Brazil in the quarterfinals, their manager Dorival Jr. confirmed.

Indeed, when asked about how he planned to replace Vinicius for the Uruguay game during a press conference, the Selecao manager replied (h/t The Athletic):

“Endrick. It will be Raphinha, Rodrygo and Endrick.”

Endrick set to replace Vinicius for Brazil. (Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images)

First start for Endrick

It will be a huge occasion for Endrick as he will be making his first-ever start for the Brazilian national team.

The 17-year-old, who will officially arrive at Real Madrid later this month, has made nine appearances for the Selecao, including three in the ongoing Copa America, all of which have come from the bench.

In those nine games, Endrick has already scored three goals. And he will be aiming to add to his tally against Uruguay, with Brazil manager Dorival believing that the 17-year-old is ready for the occasion.

“We lost an important player, but we gain another searching for his chance. Who knows, this could be Endrick’s moment,” he said.

“He’s not specifically a fixed No 9, a reference point, who prefers to basically plays as a pivot. He’s a player who drops in and out and has this movement.”

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Real Madrid News

Just in: Real Madrid’s defensive target picks up fresh injury

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Photo by Marco Rosi - SS Lazio/Getty Images

Real Madrid are in active negotiations with LOSC Lille for the transfer of Leny Yoro. After weeks of impasse, the club appear to have made some ground in the race to sign the Frenchman.

However, should the Yoro deal fall through in the coming weeks, Real Madrid have identified Lazio’s Mario Gila as the ideal alternative.

Formerly of RM Castilla, Gila currently plies his trade for Lazio and has emerged as a key defensive lynchpin for the Italian outfit, impressing onlookers with his technique and discipline.

Mario Gila picks up fresh injury

However, in a major development, it appears Mario Gila has picked up a fresh injury during training, reports Diario AS.

In the pre-season camp at Auronzo di Cadore, Gila appears to have fractured his left foot and could be out for several weeks.

Fresh setback for Mario Gila (Photo by Marco Rosi – SS Lazio/Getty Images)

Lazio confirmed the defender’s injury, stating, “Mario Gila underwent clinical and instrumental examinations which revealed a fracture of the phalanx of the big toe of his left foot, suffered during training.”

Gila has started taking the appropriate treatment and the extent of his injury will be known soon. However, as things stand, the defender could be out for at least the next few weeks.

What does this mean for Real Madrid?

Mario Gila’s fresh injury setback is sure to dwindle any hopes of a potential return to Real Madrid this summer.

In any case, Gila’s chances of returning to Santiago Bernabeu were slim given that Real Madrid have finally made some ground in the deal to sign top defensive target Leny Yoro.

Los Blancos, though, would have liked having someone like Gila available as an alternative, especially with LOSC Lille still demanding a fortune for the Frenchman.

Unfortunately, that might not be an option anymore, no thanks to Gila’s injury. The club, though, will keep a close eye on the Spaniard’s injury situation, knowing he could return to fitness before the end of the summer break.

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