Real Madrid star Vinicius got off to a great start of the season but then was dealt an early blow.

After leaving last weekend’s 1-0 La Liga victory against Celta Vigo, the club announced in a statement that the Brazilian had injured the biceps femoris in his right leg. Therefore, he would be unable to participate in the 2026 World Cup South American Qualifications.

Vinicius is thus expected to miss around six weeks of action. He will not be able to make it in time for the September FIFA date, but he will be there for the October international window.

The Real Madrid attacker should return for Los Blancos’ encounter against Osasuna on Oct. 8, according to Marca.

Raphinha gets first Brazil call since Qatar World Cup in Vinicius place

Starting on Friday, Sep. 8, Brazil begins its quest to reach another World Cup. That starts against Bolivia. Then, Brazil travels to Peru on Sep. 12 for its first road game in qualifying.

New Selecao coach Fernando Diniz has chosen Raphinha to replace the injured 23-year-old Vinicius in the Brazil squad, according to the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).

The last time the 26-year-old donned his country’s jersey was during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It was there that Croatia knocked the five-time champions out of the competition in the Quarterfinals.

Following the performance last year in Qatar, Brazil did not include him in the roster for the March exhibition games. To date, Raphinha has scored five goals in 16 international appearances for the Canarinha.

This could fix his rocky start of season

Brazil did not call up the Barcelona forward last time around. Now, an injury to Vinicius has opened the door for him to finally get a shot. He must use this opportunity to re-establish himself as a regular member of the Selecao squad.

His season started poorly under Xavi. Due to his red card in the first league encounter against Getafe, he missed the Blaugrana’s next two games of the new campaign.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Newspix