As Vinicius Junior (23, Real Madrid) is expected to miss about two and a half months due to a left hamstring injury, the Brazilian national soccer team is also on alert ahead of the sixth round of the 2026 North-China World Cup South American qualifying round against Argentina.
Brazil will face Argentina, where Lionel Messi (36, Inter Miami CF) is located, at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on the 22nd.
Brazil is fifth among the 10 South American qualifiers with two wins, one draw and two losses (7 points), and if it loses against Argentina, the ranking will drop further. As such, he must win the rival match against Argentina.
Brazil lost 0-2 in the fourth round of the South American qualifying round against Uruguay on the 17th of last month, with its captain Neymar (31, Alhilal) suffering from a left knee injury (broken anterior cruciate ligament).
Then, on the 16th, Gabriel Martinelli’s first goal in the fifth round of the away match against Colombia led to a painful upset loss of 1-2 by giving up two last-minute goals to Luis Díaz (Liverpool).
Neymar injured his left knee during an away match against Uruguay in the 2026 North-China World Cup South American qualifying match on the 17th of last month.
To make matters worse, in the match against Colombia, Vinicius, who was the starting two-top, suffered an injury to his left leg and was replaced in the 27th minute of the first half.
Regarding Vinicius’s injury, the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) said on the 18th, “It was confirmed that he suffered a hamstring injury to his left thigh. “I will miss the World Cup qualifying match against Argentina.”
Vinicius will return to Real Madrid for treatment, and ESPN reported that he will miss the game for about two and a half months, citing sources close to him.
Argentina lost 0-2 in the fifth round of its home game against Uruguay on the 17th, and suffered a painful loss after winning all four games, but is ranked first in the preliminary round. For Brazil, Argentina, with Messi at the forefront, is a tough opponent.
Brazil’s offense has weakened further due to the absence of Vinicius, who is a two-top player with Hodrigo (22, Real Madrid).
Vinicius of Real Madrid. Associated Press
Vinicius’s team Real Madrid is also in trouble. The injury came two days after midfielder Eduardo Camavinga (21) was called up to the French national team and suffered a serious knee ligament tear during training.
Vinicius missed a month or so in August with a hamstring injury in his right leg, but this time he was unlucky to injure his left leg.
For Real, goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga (29) has already been out of power due to a thigh injury, and midfielder Aurelien Chouameni (23) is also rehabilitating after breaking his left foot bone.
In addition, in August, two main goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (31) and central defender Eder Militang (25) suffered a ruptured teenager in their front teens, and their absence continues.
In addition, central attacking midfielder Jude Bellingham (20) is also being treated for an injury to his left shoulder during a recent Spanish La Liga match against Valencia.
Real Madri is second to Girona (11 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss, 34 points) in Spain’s La Liga this season with 10 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss (32 points). FC Barcelona (9 wins, 3 draws, 1 loss, 30 points) is third.
Real ranks first in Group C with four wins in the group stage of the Champions League.