Advertisement
Monday, Oct 25, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Copa America 2021: Lucas Paqueta Becomes Key Player For Brazil

Few at the start of the tournament would have thought that the 23-year-old would become such a key Brazilian player

Copa America 2021: Lucas Paqueta Becomes Key Player For Brazil
Brazil's Lucas Paqueta celebrates scoring the opening goal against Chile during their Copa America, quarterfinal match at the Nilton Santos stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on July 2, 2021. | AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo
Copa America 2021: Lucas Paqueta Becomes Key Player For Brazil
outlookindia.com
2021-07-06T13:56:11+05:30

When Lucas Paquetá left the pitch in pain at the end of Brazil's 1-0 win over Peru at a Copa America semifinal, there was concern among teammates whether he would play in Saturday's final. (More Football News)

Few at the start of the tournament would have thought that the 23-year-old would become such a key Brazilian player.

Midfielder Paquetá had a cut on his left leg, but Brazil's medical officials say he will be fit for the decider at the Maracana Stadium, the same arena where he first appeared as a Flamengo winger in 2016.

Brazil's opponent in the final will be known on Tuesday when Argentina and Colombia meet.

Paquetá scored the winners against Chile and Peru in the knockout stage, played in five out of six matches and became a frontrunner to take a position that once belonged to Philippe Coutinho.

Still evolving as a passer and a finisher, Paquetá also seems to have established a partnership with Neymar — on the pitch and in funny dances to celebrate the goals they score for Brazil.

"Paquetá is a great player, he is growing in every match for the national team. He had a great season at Lyon and he is showing he can be a very important player for us," Neymar said.

"I am happy for the match he played, he was great. It is always good to find great players at the Selecao."

The Brazilian was first called up by Tite after the 2018 World Cup, when he was at Flamengo. The coach continued to bring him to the Selecao despite unconvincing performances for AC Milan.

Last year, Paquetá moved to Lyon and had a good first season, with 10 goals and six assists in 34 matches.

The red card to Gabriel Jesus during the quarterfinals against Chile allowed Tite to start with Paquetá in the semifinal — he had entered the previous game as a substitute.

One of Tite's assistants, former Brazil midfielder César Sampaio, said recently that Paquetá has given "positive surprises" during his time at Copa America.

"We didn't know he could perform in some functions, and he is doing them very well," Sampaio said.

"This athlete can do his part, which is more in transitions and skills, but he also also contributes defensively. He is very productive."

As a winger, Paquetá was also in Brazil's squad that won Copa America in 2019. But he only played for a few minutes in the quarterfinal against Paraguay.

(AP)

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

The Third Colour: Shah Rukh Khan Is A Symbol Worth Rooting For

The Third Colour: Shah Rukh Khan Is A Symbol Worth Rooting For

When we say we’re standing in solidarity with someone, we’re really standing up for our own ideals, values, peace and truth, writes comic-poet Varun Grover.

Aryan Khan Drug Case: Sameer Wankhede Alleges Being Targeted Over 'Dead Mother's Religion'

Aryan Khan Drug Case: Sameer Wankhede Alleges Being Targeted Over 'Dead Mother's Religion'

In his affidavit submitted to the court, Sameer Wankhede refuted the allegations levelled against him, and claimed he was under a 'lurking threat of arrest'.

Hate And Joy After IND v PAK T20 World Cup Clash

Hate And Joy After IND v PAK T20 World Cup Clash

A scuffle between Kashmiri, UP, Bihar students at a Punjab institute shows how emotionally draining an India vs Pakistan encounter can be.

Explainer | Why Tripura's Karbong Tribe Is On The Verge Of Extinction

Explainer | Why Tripura's Karbong Tribe Is On The Verge Of Extinction

Hardly 250 people belonging to 60 to 70 families remain in Karbong tribe. Their population is getting reduced fast due to intertribal marriage, poverty and lack of proper education.

Advertisement