Internationals: Willian captains Brazil to win

Willian was given the captain’s armband for Brazil’s friendly against Japan this afternoon as a first-half attacking masterclass did the damage in Lille.

The 29-year-old lined up on the right side of a front three also containing Neymar and Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus. The Selecao, who had a fantastic qualifying campaign in a typically competitive South American group, raced into a three-goal lead before the break against Japan, a potential World Cup opponent.

Neymar opened the scoring from the spot and after he then had another penalty saved, Marcelo blasted in from the edge of the box.

Brazil were carving Japan open at will with Willian heavily involved in their fluent attacking play, and he cleverly played in Danilo who squared for Gabriel Jesus to make it three on 36 minutes.

Japan got one back from a set-piece on the hour, before Willian’s withdrawal for Douglas Costa 20 minutes from time. It finished 3-1 in northern France.

Brazil’s next engagement is even closer to home for our winger as they take on England at Wembley on Tuesday night.