Porto midfield Fernando: I play like a European
Porto midfielder Fernando believes he has adapted his game so much since moving to Portugal that he no longer plays like a Brazilian.
Fernando, 25, moved to the Portuguese giants in 2007 from Vila Nova and, apart from an early loan spell with Estrela Amadora, has been a key member of the Porto team that has won three out of the past four Primeira Liga titles.
Yet, despite his success and impressive performances at the Estádio da Dragão, he has yet to be called up for the Brazil national team.
“I always check when the team’s announced and I’m still hopeful,” he told FIFA.com.
“I get letters from fans and they ask me about the national team, and all I can say is that I’m going to keep on working.
“I get a lot of exposure here in Europe but not in Brazil because I left home early. I play like a European now and not at all like a Brazilian holding midfielder.”
His style of play has earned him a unique nickname in Portugal, one that he has grown to like.
“I remember people started calling me Polvo (Octopus) but I didn’t really understand why. Later they told me it was because I ran a lot, because I seemed to be everywhere and had lots of legs. It was an encouraging sign of recognition for me.
“It’s a characteristic of mine. I’ve always done what the teams needed to get results. That’s why I prefer to keep out of the limelight, but I think it’s good sometimes to be discreet because it shows how much I’m contributing to the team. That’s part of my job.”
And Fernando is hopeful that he will be able to use these skills for the Seleção soon and believes he has a lot to add to Luis Felipe Scolari’s team.
“I think defensive midfielders bring balance to any team, like Gilberto Silva and Dunga did before.
“There aren’t any in Brazil, which could work in my favour and which is why I’m still hopeful of getting my chance. I get the feeling he’s going to need a midfielder like that soon.”