Raphinha is one of two Premier League players to have pulled out of the games against Chile and Bolivia, with Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhães anticipating the birth of his first child, a baby girl, next week.
Whites head coach Jesse Marsch predicted that Raphinha would have to sit out both of Brazil’s games during this international break, having tested positive for Covid-19 last Thursday, but the possibility of involvement appeared to remain - not for this Thursday’s home game against Chile but perhaps for the Wednesday March 30 trip to Bolivia.
“He’s eager to go as he should be, establishing himself with Brazil which is amazing. Such a good player. We’ll see what happens.”
But Brazil have now released a statement to confirm that Raphinha cannot travel and will remain in England.
“Forward Raphinha, from Leeds United, and defender Gabriel Magalhães, from Arsenal, will not play for the Brazilian team at Granja Comary for the team’s next games against Chile and Bolivia,” said a spokesperson.
“Raphinha tested positive for Covid-19 and, due to the isolation protocols, will not be able to travel to Brazil and perform for the period of training and games. Defender Gabriel Magalhães, on the other hand, is not injured. He got in touch with the coordinator of the Brazilian national team, Juninho Paulista, and with the coach Tite to tell him about the forecast of the birth of his first daughter for the next week. Understanding the importance of the moment for the player, he was called off.”
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