Brazil coach Dorival Jr hails Vinicius after win over Paraguay


Brazil coach Dorival Jr extolled Vinicius Jr's skill on the field after the Real Madrid forward propelled Brazil to a 4-1 Copa America victory over Paraguay.

Vinicius terrorised Paraguay's defence with his pace and trickery as he scored two goals in an impressive display, a far cry from his performance in Brazil's 0-0 draw with Costa Rica in their opening group stage match, in which he was largely ineffectual.

"Today he played a very important role," Dorival told reporters, speaking with the help of a translator.

"He played an almost perfect match, he created very good situations and opportunities. He was dynamic, very effective and straightforward and direct.

"He played well with other players and teamed up nicely, he has great capacity."

Brazil next face group leaders Colombia in California on Tuesday, where a draw would be enough to secure qualification for the quarter-finals.

Colombia are on a run of 25 matches without defeat and beat Brazil 2-1 in a World Cup 2026 qualifier in November.

"I think that we'll have a match of a very high level, with players that know each other, that usually play against each other," Dorival said.

"These are different teams that are undergoing different moments but I have no doubts that Brazil will perform at the highest level, and I expect that it will be better than these two first matches."

In an emotional press conference, the teary-eyed Brazil coach also spoke at length about his uncle and former international Dudu, who died aged 84 on Friday night.

"Dudu was a reference to me as a player, as a coach but especially as a human being," Dorival said.

"He was always worrying about everyone else but himself. He was a role model to me, I always wanted to follow his steps. To me, he means a great lot, in addition to the amazing history he had.

"I think I never met anyone like him. He was the second father to me, he guided me at every time in my life."

More from Sports