Real Madrid’s Vinicius stars as Brazil launch new white kit

The 18-year-old Real Madrid forward was the star of the show as Brazil unveiled their new, white third kit for the Copa América in a ceremony in Rio.

Vinicius is the new face of the Brazil team. The Real Madrid youngster was the star turn as the Seleçao’s white third kit was unveiled at the Rio de Janeiro headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) ahead of this summer’s Copa América, which is to be held in the country.

“It’s an honour and a source of real joy to be here and to pull on a historic shirt that hasn’t been used for so long,” Vinicius, 18, said as he modelled the jersey at Tuesday’s investiture ceremony for the CBF’s new president, Rogério Caboclo.

Brazil to wear white for first time since 1950s

It is the the first time since the mid-20th century that Brazil – who were wearing white when they won their maiden Copa América 100 years ago – have sported such a shirt. Previously the Brazilians’ first-choice colour, it fell out of favour after their traumatic defeat to Uruguay in the final game of the 1950 World Cup.

The choice of Vinicius for the kit launch – despite still being uncapped by Brazil at senior level – is symbolic of the teenager’s burgeoning reputation as the future of the Brazilian game, with the ex-Flamengo player quickly becoming an iconic figure for football fans in the country.

Copa América squad announcement delayed for Vinicius

Meanwhile, his prospects of inclusion in the five-time world champions’ Copa América squad remain unclear. Having been called up for the March friendlies against Panama and the Czech Republic, he was ruled out by an ankle problem – and Canarinha coach Tite says he’ll “have to play very well” on his return from injury to make his 23-man list for the tournament.

Vinicius is expected to make his Madrid comeback at the end of April, allowing him to play four or five club games before Tite announces his squad on 17 May – a date that the CBF pushed back as far as they could precisely to give the player as long as possible to prove his fitness.