Tue, Oct 15, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil coach Tite has called up striker Gabriel Barbosa for the first time in three years for friendlies against Senegal and Nigeria in October.

After flopping at Inter Milan and Benfica, the 23-year-old striker is now the top scorer in the Brazilian championship with 16 goals while playing on loan for leader Flamengo.

He was also the competition’s top scorer in 2018 when playing for Santos.

“Gabriel has matured. His performance this year speaks for itself,” Tite said Friday at the Brazilian soccer confederation headquarters in Rio de Janeiro.

Inter Milan reportedly paid 25 million euros ($27.5 million) for the Brazilian known as Gabigol in 2016, but he has scored only once for the Italian club and is spending a third straight season out on loan.

Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson is expected to be the starter in both matches, with Liverpool’s Alisson out with a calf injury.

The matches will be played on Oct. 10 and 13 in Singapore.

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