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Willian practices with Brazil team ahead of Copa América

11 months 3 weeks 1 day ago Saturday, June 08 2019 Jun 8, 2019 June 08, 2019 2:51 PM June 08, 2019 in Sports - AP - National

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - The Chelsea forward who is replacing injured soccer star Neymar on Brazil's national team in an upcoming Copa América match has begun practicing with squad.

The naming of Willian to the team comes after Neymar suffered an ankle injury in a friendly against Qatar Wednesday and as the Brazilian soccer star faces a rape allegation. He denies the accusation.

Willian told The Associated Press on Saturday: "I am here to help in the best possible way. If (the coach) needs me for a few minutes, I'm ready to play."

French club Paris Saint-Germain said Neymar had suffered a "severe external lateral ligament sprain" to his ankle.

Willian has played 65 games with Brazil's team and scored eight goals. He last played in the May 29 Chelsea-Arsenal Europa League final.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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