Exclusive Interview: Fernandinho talks about Manchester City, Brazil and and how he hits the ball so hard

Fernandinho scores his first goal for the Seleção with a thunderbolt against South Africa - Action Images
The 28-year-old has wasted no time settling in to English football. In his first season at the Etihad Stadium, the former Shakhtar Donetsk man has made 19 appearances and scored three goals. His performances have earned praise and hie was rewarded by a call-up to the Brazil squad for the recent friendly against South Africa.

You didn’t arrive at Manchester City long ago but have been able to adapt really quickly. How did you manage this?

The process of adaptation really was quick. I arrived here, tried to do my best and I worked a lot. I tried to do everything that the coach asked of me and I have managed, in these six months, to gain his confidence, that of my team-mates and also the respect of the fans. I think what helped me in this adaptation was the really hard work I did to reach my objective, which was to become a first-choice in the team.

You arrived at a team that doesn’t have any other Brazilians. How was this for you?

I didn’t worry too much about this. Regardless of having or not having someone Brazilian, I had to work and play to be able to get into the first-team and achieve my personal objectives. This is what I did. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I didn’t have Brazilians around me and I focussed on my work to reach my objectives.

How was your reception at Manchester City?

It was good. Everybody welcomed me and helped me a lot. I think this was really important for me because it meant that I was really relaxed and could commit myself to my work on the pitch. I’m really grateful for this.

You spent almost eight years in Ukraine. Why did you stay there for such a long time?

I don’t think that I ever really got a good offer to leave and this is why I stayed such a long time. Offers that came in were not appealing and the first one that really was, was the one that came in from Manchester City. So, I decided to make the most of the opportunity and leave the country after eight years.

You won your first trophy in England last weekend when Manchester City beat Sunderland in the League Cup final. How did you feel after this?

It was really important for us and especially for me to win a trophy in my first season for the club. It was a really important achievement and has given me more motivation to work towards winning more trophies.

Do you think that Manchester City can win the Premier League this year?

I think it’s possible. We still have a chance to win and to fight for the title right up until the end of the season. We have three games in hand and we have to win all three to give ourselves a chance of winning the championship.

On Wednesday, Manchester City have a really important game against Barcelona. What do City have to do to beat Barcelona away from home?

I think it’s going to be important to concentrate so that we can reverse the deficit. Everyone is aware that we are starting the game 2-0 down and that we have to do really well to turn this around.

On a personal level, what are your objectives with Manchester City for the rest of the season?

My personal objectives are to continue playing at the level that I have been, in order to be able to help the team turn around the deficit to Barcelona – which would be historical – and to continue fighting for the title in the Premier League, which is really important for us. So, it’s basically to maintain the same level of performance to try and reach our goals.

Recently you scored a goal for Brazil in the game against South Africa. Do you think that this has improved your chances of going to the World Cup?

Well, I don’t know if the goal itself was that important. I think that what mattered was my general performance in this friendly match. I hope that what I did pleased the coach. I’m going to carry on working hard for my club so that I can realise my dream, which is to go to the World Cup.

You only had this game to show Felipão what you can do and to try and get a place in the World Cup squad. Did you feel the pressure?

I was really relaxed. I knew that this would be the last chance we had so I tried to be relaxed as things are always better when I’m relaxed. I forgot about the pressure, I kept myself cool and tried to play football.

What do you think you have to do to guarantee your place in the World Cup squad?

Now I just need to play at the same level I have been for my club, because it’s going to be really important to be playing well at the time that the squad is announced and I hope that this will influence the coach’s decision. What I want is to play well for Manchester City so that, when the time comes, I’m one of the 23 called-up.

Did Felipão say anything to you before or after the game against South Africa?

He only spoke to the group in general. He congratulated us for the victory and for the way we played the game. I think that this is really important: to always communicate with the team and give them confidence. We look at ourselves through him.

In that game you played the first half a little deeper, giving more freedom to Paulinho. In the second half, when Luiz Gustavo came on, you played a little further forward and it looked like you were more comfortable. Where do you prefer to play?

I don’t have a problem with either of these two positions. I play both for Manchester City and it won’t be a problem for the national team. So, I am ready to do whatever the coach wants of me, regardless of which position it is in.

Do you think that the pressure of wearing the Brazil shirt at the World Cup will disadvantage the team during the competition?

It’s always difficult playing for the national team. I think it’s a kind of pressure that all national teams have to deal with, especially at a World Cup. I hope that Brazil can deal well with the pressure and that the players can be psychologically prepared to do well. We can turn this pressure into something positive, with the supporters on our side.

Where did you learn to hit the ball so hard, as you did for your goal in the game for Brazil recently?

I worked hard at my shooting from a young age when I was in Brazil. We used to work on this daily and it has helped me in my career. All of the things that I learned then and since then I still have with me today. 

Read more:

> Man City’s Fernandinho happy with Brazil performance
> Manchester City star Fernandinho delights Luiz Felipe Scolari
 





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July 31, 2014
23:00Bastia confirm the signing of Brazilian forward Brandao
22:54Fiorentina forward Giuseppe Rossi disappointed with Palmeiras defeat
22:49Juventus Sporting Director Giuseppe Marotta confirms he is set to sign Hellas Verona midfielder Romulo
22:45Flamengo President Eduardo Bandeira de Mello unsure on move for Milan forward Robinho
22:41Corinthians owned forward Alexandre Pato admits he has received offers but is happy to stay on loan at Sao Paulo
22:37Agent confirms Hellas Verona midfielder Romulo will join Juventus on Friday
18:53Ronaldinho close to joining New York Red Bulls
18:37Palmeiras beat Fiorentina to win the Copa Euroamericana
17:44Dunga directs more criticism at Barcelona and Brazil star Neymar
17:31Carlos Alberto Parreira dismisses Dunga criticism
17:10Grêmio head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari admits that he needs a hug
17:01Barcelona star Neymar “almost 100%”
16:50Barcelona star Neymar mobbed as he arrives in Japan
July 30, 2014
17:43Torino forward Barreto not worried about Fabio Quagliarella arrival and looking forward to IF Brommapojkarna challenge
14:56Zlatan Ibrahimović expects David Luiz to settle quickly and succeed at Paris Saint-Germain
13:42Ronaldinho's agent and brother Roberto de Assis confirms his new club will be announced on Wednesday
12:21Report: Chelsea still pushing for Atlético de Madrid defender Miranda
11:12Report: Barcelona consider renewed approach for Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos
09:51Report: Robinho's future remains uncertain as Milan wait for an offer from the UAE
08:56Elche confirm the signing of forward Jonathas on a two-year loan deal from Pescara
08:04Corinthians set to move for striker Angel Romero's twin Oscar
07:50Fluminense refute rumours of moves for Ronaldinho and Wellington Nem
07:40PSG's David Luiz may be dropped for Dunga's first Brazil squad
07:21Diego Costa applauded by new Chelsea colleague Drogba
07:11Ronaldinho posts video online thanking Atletico Mineiro for the memories
06:59Neymar's second Barcelona season will be easier, says former player
06:46Ronaldinho won't move to Boca Juniors, say Argentine side
July 29, 2014
19:41Arena Amazônia hopeful of hosting Serie A games
18:53Grêmio appoint Luiz Felipe Scolari as new manager
18:19QPR interested in former Barcelona and AC Milan star Ronaldinho
17:15Grêmio striker Barcos praises Luiz Felipe Scolari
16:48Grêmio want Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella
16:31Cruzeiro defender Dedé on Juventus radar
14:35Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Sandro set to depart White Hart Lane?
14:09Reports in Italy suggest Lazio looking to sign Marseille defender Lucas Mendes
13:02Rômulo having Juventus medical today
11:41Atlético Mineiro head coach admits it is ‘unfortunate’ that Ronaldinho has left the club
11:17Liverpool’s Suso: Coutinho plays like a Spaniard
10:32Parma reject talk linking forward Amauri with Cesena
10:03Chelsea manager José Mourinho praises Brazilian Filipe Luís
09:00Tim Vickery Column: Farce of 2014 may take longer to recover from than tragedy of 1950
08:37Goalkeeper Jefferson says Botafogo wage troubles are not affecting performances
08:27Jorge Valdivia is asked to return to Palmeiras after Middle East move complications
08:08New Palmeiras signing Allione delighted to join club
07:58Sao Paulo's Rodrigo Caio: Team have to work more as a unit
07:47Atletico Mineiro president Kalil hails Ronaldinho contribution
07:34AC Milan CEO confirms Olympiakos Robinho offer
July 28, 2014
21:35Ronaldinho and Atlético Mineiro part ways
21:19Jonathan insists Internazionale will give 100 per cent this season
21:09Robinho agent confirms the Brazilian hasn’t spoken with Beşiktaş over potential move
July 23, 2014
17:02Napoli goalkeeper Rafael Cabral hoping for Seleção return under Dunga
July 19, 2014
23:19Gerard Houllier explains why Lionel Messi was awarded the Golden Ball
23:13Neymar believes Brazil can learn from Germany and Spain
23:07Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli welcomes introduction of vanishing spray into Serie A after World Cup success
July 14, 2014
23:57FIFA President Sepp Blatter denies involvement in selection of Lionel Messi as Golden Ball winner
23:48FIFA Secretary-General Jérôme Valcke expects Russia and Qatar World Cups to match Brazil
23:13Maicon philosophical over Brazil World Cup disappointment
July 13, 2014
23:44Fred hopes Fluminense will give him time off after World Cup disappointment
23:41Fred confirms he has retired from international football
09:54Sambafoot Sunday: Brazil's 2014 World Cup Fallout: New Failures
July 12, 2014
23:51Joachim Low: Germany can be the first European nation to win in Latin America
23:48Dunga: Germany played as a unit
23:44Thiago Silva left frustrated by Netherlands defeat
23:35Oscar has "horrible feeling" after Netherlands defeat
July 11, 2014
22:50Germany forward Thomas Muller looking forward to playing in the Maracana
July 09, 2014
23:55Neymar agent Wagner Ribeiro makes astonishing attack of Luiz Felipe Scolari
23:51Brazil Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari insists Germany defeat "not all bad"
23:48Cafu refused entry to Brazil dressing room after Germany defeat
15:30Tim Vickery Column: A look at Brazil’s capitulation against Germany and what now for Luiz Felipe Scolari
July 08, 2014
23:59Luiz Felipe Scolari: “Who is responsible for this result? I am, it’s me”
23:55Germany forward Miroslav Klose "truly happy" to break Ronaldo's World Cup scoring record
23:50Julio Cesar struggles to comprehend Brazil defeat
23:39Brazil 1-7 Germany: Ruthless Germany tear Seleção apart to secure historic semi-final victory
23:29Brazil 1-7 Germany: Player ratings
20:10Brazil v Germany: line-ups
July 07, 2014
22:25Brazil legend Amarildo believes Neymar absence could work to the Selecao's advantage against Germany
22:22Germany Head Coach Joachim Low wary of "robust" Brazil
22:05Maicon disappointed with refereeing on Neymar challenge
July 06, 2014
09:25Sambafoot Sunday: Ney Problem - Can Brazil Cope Without Neymar?
July 05, 2014
23:45Argentina forward Lionel Messi aiming for the World Cup final
23:30Medic insists vertebra injury will not compromise Neymar’s career
July 04, 2014
23:59Thiago Silva defends emotional Brazil
23:55James Rodriguez: David Luiz told me I was a good player
23:50David Luiz looks forward to "classic" encounter with Germany
23:47David Luiz: Colombia would have gone further if they “hadn't come up against Brazil”
15:34Luiz Felipe Scolari feels Brazil’s lack of a rivalry with Colombia will allow his players to be “more at ease'
July 03, 2014
18:58Brazil v Colombia – Preview
July 02, 2014
22:14Neymar confirms he is fit to face Colombia
22:10Colombia Head Coach Jose Pekerman confident his side can upset Brazil
22:06Neymar insists he can fit in any formation amid rumours that Luiz Felipe Scolari will switch to a 3-5-2 against Colombia
22:02Neymar happy for Brazil to win 1-0 against Colombia
July 01, 2014
23:24Fernandinho confident Brazil can handle expectations
June 30, 2014
16:29Brazil Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari unsure whether Neymar will be fit to face Colombia
16:24Brazil Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari compares Neymar to Cristiano Ronaldo
June 29, 2014
23:11Diego Maradona: "Chile deserved to go through"
23:00Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez respectful of Brazil
21:23Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez hopeful of Brazil victory
19:21Diego Maradona excited by Colombia and James Rodriguez
June 28, 2014
21:04Brazil vs. Chile: Player ratings
16:14Brazil vs Chile: Line up
June 26, 2014
14:33Report: Flamengo one of eight clubs who have enquired about loaning Internazionale midfielder Rubén Botta
June 16, 2014
11:35Brazil Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari backs Portugal to recovery from heavy Germany defeat
June 09, 2014
23:18Italy forward Lorenzo Insigne insists Italy’s poor defending in victory against Fluminense is “not important”
23:12Italy forward Ciro Immobile “excited” with hat-trick against Fluminense
22:56Italy Head Coach Cesare Prandelli pleased with Fluminense victory
22:52Italy Head Coach Cesare Prandelli delighted with Brazilian support
June 07, 2014
23:32Italy line up confirmed for Fluminense friendly
May 19, 2014
22:13Portugal Manager Paulo Bento names his 23-man 2014 FIFA World Cup squad
May 18, 2014
19:09Sambafoot Sunday: Botafogo's Shaky Start to 2014
April 13, 2014
08:34Sambafoot Sunday: Brazilian Clubs' Libertadores Numbers Game
April 06, 2014
09:20Sambafoot Sunday: Atlético Mineiro's Anelka Interest Should be the Norm
February 14, 2014
12:23Shakhtar Donetsk: President decided to support Maicon’s family
February 09, 2014
09:25Sambafoot Sunday: Where’s Wallyson? Botafogo find their new hero post-Seedorf
January 26, 2014
10:09Sambafoot Sunday: Cruciate curse affects Seleção hopes of three midfielders
December 01, 2013
13:36Sambafoot Sunday: Could Éverton Ribeiro Crack Europe?
November 25, 2013
11:39Brasileirão Week 36 round up: Vasco shock champions to stay in contention while defeat leaves Ponte Preta on the brink
November 24, 2013
10:17Sambafoot Sunday: Palmeiras Promoted with Chapecoense in Tow
November 17, 2013
12:00Palmeiras secure Brasileirão Série B title with 3-0 win against Boa Esporte
November 12, 2013
08:42Relegation threatened Fluminense sack head coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo
November 10, 2013
12:59Sambafoot Sunday: Atlético Paranaense's hurricane season
November 09, 2013
10:05Drummer angers Flamengo fans
November 04, 2013
13:04Brasileirão week 32 round-up: Big win for Vasco as in-form Goiás maintain top four push
November 03, 2013
17:31Sambafoot Sunday: Surprise Packages in the 2013 Brasileirão
October 28, 2013
11:31Brasileirão Week 31 round up: Vital win for Ponte Preta while Goiás maintain top four push
October 21, 2013
13:21Olympique Marseille without defender Lucas Mendes for Napoli fixture
12:12Injury rules Bayern Munich defender Dante out of Viktoria Plzeň tie
October 20, 2013
23:50São Paulo president Juvenal Juvêncio admits interest in Lucas Moura loan return
October 18, 2013
11:47Diego Maradona dispute’s Pelé’s FIFA recognition
09:04Del Bosque: Costa approach no insult to current strikers
October 17, 2013
21:43Hard work is paying off insists Bayern Munich defender Rafinha
13:17Rodrigo Lasmar: Ronaldinho on track to be fit for the Club World Cup
October 16, 2013
19:53Report: Tottenham Hotspur set to offer Paulinho extended deal
09:12Report: São Paulo could terminate Lúcio’s contract if injury concerns prevail
October 13, 2013
18:32Brasileirão: Grêmio slip up as Vitoria and Santos grab victories
14:49Vanderlei Luxemburgo: ‘Simulation part of football’
October 09, 2013
20:37Mineiro learn Club World Cup fate
October 06, 2013
22:39Oswaldo de Oliveira in hospital after Botafogo defeat
11:55Sambafoot Sunday: Cruzeiro cruising at the top of the Brasileirão
October 04, 2013
23:52Internacional manager Dunga sacked
September 14, 2013
14:29Guerrero: Corinthians can still be champions
September 11, 2013
20:49Roberto Carlos: Anzhi could collapse
14:57Exeter City play down Brazil fears
September 07, 2013
14:12Atlético Madrid's Filipe Luis: Barca-Madrid dominance an injustice
September 06, 2013
19:04Santos announce tour of South East Asia
18:42São Paulo slump to defeat as Rogerio Ceni misses penalty
September 05, 2013
19:17Cruzeiro go four points clear after defeating Bahia
18:43Romário and Maradona fight against CONMEBOL corruption
September 03, 2013
21:29Marcelo Mattos says Botafogo will overcome difficulties
20:54Réver believes Atlético Mineiro can challenge for Brazilian title
September 02, 2013
23:21São Paulo to honour Brazil legend Leonidas da Silva
July 31, 2014
23:00Bastia confirm the signing of Brazilian forward Brandao
22:54Fiorentina forward Giuseppe Rossi disappointed with Palmeiras defeat
22:49Juventus Sporting Director Giuseppe Marotta confirms he is set to sign Hellas Verona midfielder Romulo
22:45Flamengo President Eduardo Bandeira de Mello unsure on move for Milan forward Robinho
22:41Corinthians owned forward Alexandre Pato admits he has received offers but is happy to stay on loan at Sao Paulo
22:37Agent confirms Hellas Verona midfielder Romulo will join Juventus on Friday
July 30, 2014
17:43Torino forward Barreto not worried about Fabio Quagliarella arrival and looking forward to IF Brommapojkarna challenge
14:56Zlatan Ibrahimović expects David Luiz to settle quickly and succeed at Paris Saint-Germain
13:42Ronaldinho's agent and brother Roberto de Assis confirms his new club will be announced on Wednesday
12:21Report: Chelsea still pushing for Atlético de Madrid defender Miranda
11:12Report: Barcelona consider renewed approach for Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos
09:51Report: Robinho's future remains uncertain as Milan wait for an offer from the UAE
08:56Elche confirm the signing of forward Jonathas on a two-year loan deal from Pescara
July 28, 2014
18:06Report: Beşiktaş ready to bid €4 million for in demand Milan forward Robinho
15:14Forwards Luan and Wanderley excited to be working with Head Coach Paulo Bonamigo at Sharjah SC
13:33Report: Barcelona willing to let defender Daniel Alves leave for cut price fee
11:52Manchester United confirm defender Rafael will leave United States tour after suffering a groin injury
10:112014 Brasileirão Round 12 summary: Late Alex strike earns Coritiba dramatic win and Flamengo secure vital derby victory
July 27, 2014
20:18Chelsea manager José Mourinho expects Diego Costa to adapt to the Premier League
16:51Representative suggests Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernando could join Fiorentina
14:30Sambafoot Sunday: Brazilian Soccer - Can Kaká Bring Magic to Orlando City?
14:01Hellas Verona Sporting Director Sean Sogliano confirms negotiations with Juventus for midfielder Rômulo are at an "advanced stage"
12:31Hellas Verona Head Coach Andrea Mandorlini admits Juventus move would be a "chance of a lifetime" for midfielder Rômulo
July 26, 2014
22:33Report: Flamengo putting a plan in place to sign Robinho from Milan
13:04Hellas Verona confirm the signing of Nenê on a free transfer from Cagliari
July 25, 2014
22:58Report: Juventus close in on deal for Hellas Verona midfielder Romulo
18:33Napoli midfielder Jorginho admits he would "immediately accept" a call up to the Italy national team
15:20Report: Botafogo set to sign Shandong Luneng Taishan teenager Tang Shi after successful trial
12:20Report: Fiorentina make loan offer for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernando
10:10Report: Juventus hold negotiations with Hellas Verona for midfielder Rômulo
08:44Report: Palermo to target Sampdoria forward Éder
July 23, 2014
21:19Flamengo reappoint Vanderlei Luxemburgo as Head Coach following Ney Franco sacking
19:42Santos Vice-President Odílio Rodrigues Filho admits Robinho deal will be "a difficult operation"
15:17Report: Werder Bremen set to sign Internacional defender Cláudio Winck
13:43President Enrique Cerezo believes Atlético de Madrid can cope with Diego Costa and Filipe Luís sales and refutes Miranda rumours
10:07Report: Roma in negotiations with São Paulo to re-sign defender Rafael Tolói
July 22, 2014
23:27Report: Cruzeiro set to hold talks with Milan over Robinho
23:16Former Internacional forward Ignacio Scocco set for Newell's Old Boys return
23:11Agent confirms Robinho offers amid interest from Cruzeiro and Orlando City
14:36Al-Wasl team manager Majed Obaidallah confirms loan signing of Fábio Lima from Atlético Goianiense
12:44Report: Juventus and Roma could move for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa following refusal to return to Ukraine
July 21, 2014
23:53Report: Barcelona to target São Paulo defender Rodrigo Caio
23:47La Liga newcomers Córdoba confirm the loan signing of forward Ryder Matos from Fiorentina
23:42Serie B newcomers Perugia sign veteran midfielder Rodrigo Taddei on a free transfer from Roma
23:352014 Brasileirão Round 11 summary: Internacional thump struggling Flamengo
July 19, 2014
23:01Report: Hellas Verona to target Cagliari forward Nenê
09:30Report: Chelsea set to move for Atlético de Madrid defender Miranda after completing deal for Filipe Luís
July 18, 2014
22:42Udinese complete the signing of midfielder Guilherme from Corinthians
22:34Robinho representative suggests temporary switch to Brazil is likely
22:31Representative confirms negotiations between Milan and Orlando City over Robinho
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