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Rafinha in a training session for Brazil / RAFAEL RIBEIRO-CBF

One of Rafinha Alcántara’s biggest dreams has come true. The Barça youngster has followed in the footsteps of his father Mazinho and made his full international debut for Brazil. Manager Dunga sent him on to play in midfield as a replacement for the injured Luiz Gustavo with nine minutes remaining of tonight’s friendly with Costa Rica at the Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ.

Neymar back

The night also saw Neymar Jr back in action for his country for the first time since being suspended at the Copa America in Chile. He came on for the last eight minutes as a substitute for Douglas Costa. In a fine gesture of sportsmanship, former Atlético Madrid man Miranda handed the captain’s armband to the Barça striker before he came onto the pitch.

The game itself was won by a solitary goal from Hulk after just ten minutes. It was an impressive performance from the ‘canarinha’, but despite not allowing the 2014 World Cup quarter finalists a single shot on goal, they were unable to extend on that lead. Brazil will be back in action, this time against the United States, on Wednesday in Boston.


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