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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January 28, 2015
20:41New Arsenal signing Gabriel Paulista has "huge desire to play in the Premier League"
18:11Pereira could be on way out at Manchester United
18:02Chelsea: Mourinho backs Diego Costa
17:02Milan and Valencia consider Paulinho bids
16:00Fluminense midfielder Darío Conca denies he is joining Shanghai SIPG for the money
15:51Report: Juventus close in on €11 million deal for Fluminense midfielder Gerson
15:43Grêmio officials deny defender Rhodolfo is set to join Internazionale on loan
14:43Atlético-PR's Marcos Guilherme wanted by Bayern Munich and Shakhtar
14:09Manchester City's Fernandinho chosen by Shakhtar fans as the best Brazilian in their history
14:06Roma's offer for Luiz Adriano considered low by Shakhtar
13:20Manchester United watch Benfica duo
13:06Phillippe Coutinho continues to impress
12:57Diego Costa accused of stamping
12:50Mourinho: 'My Ramires is back'
12:40Filipe Luís a doubt for Chelsea
12:22Cruzeiro want Felipe Gedoz from Brugge but a transfer is difficult
12:17Alexandre Pato interests Everton
January 27, 2015
23:37Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa praises Chelsea manager José Mourinho
21:52Report: Fenerbahçe target Grêmio forward Marcelo Moreno
21:39Cruzeiro agree deal to sign defender Eugenio Mena on a free transfer from Santos
21:29São Paulo loan defender Luis Ricardo to Brasileirão Série B side Botafogo
16:39Real Madrid target David Luiz
16:05Lucas Leiva reveals Gerrard's Wembley promise
15:41McDermott praises ‘outstanding’ Liverpool midfielder Coutinho
14:50São Paulo to sign Adrián Centurión from Racing
14:41Brazil U20's Marcos Guilherme says Uruguay's Facundo Castro called him a 'monkey' several times
12:05Luiz Adriano will only leave if the offer satisfies Shakhtar
12:00Éverton Ribeiro is in London to have his Al-Ahli medical
11:56Neymar thinks Cristiano Ronaldo should be punished
11:54Manchester United eye up Marquinhos
11:39Coutinho: 'We must dominate Chelsea'
11:30Chelsea's Diego Costa eyes European golden boot
11:02PSG target Manchester United's Pereira
January 26, 2015
22:32Midfielder Lucas Silva "felt emotional" during Real Madrid unveiling
22:03Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista given work permit to secure Arsenal move
21:55Report: Milan ready to rival Al Ahli Club bid for Cruzeiro midfielder Everton Ribeiro
21:45Report: Roma to pursue Shakhtar Donetsk forward Luiz Adriano as alternative to Chelsea's Mohamed Salah
16:41Douglas Costa will be happy to continue at Shakhtar if they reject Chelsea's offer
15:40Lucas Silva: 'Signing for Real Madrid is a dream'
15:12Brazilians in Europe: Neymar on song
12:04Darío Conca will earn more than Neymar at Shanghai Dongya
11:53Luiz Adriano sees advantage in playing in Italy and admits AS Roma interest
11:47Paulinho wants clarification over his Tottenham future
11:17Tottenham's Paulinho considers future
11:05Anderson: 'Manchester United fans love me'
January 25, 2015
20:45Report: Queens Park Rangers offered Corinthians forward Alexandre Pato
20:40Manager Arsene Wenger confirms Arsenal are set to sign Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista
January 24, 2015
22:39Report: Everton latest club linked with Corinthians forward Alexandre Pato
22:30Report: Arsenal set to seal €14.7 million deal for Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista
17:59Manchester United Target Marquinhos needs more playing time according to agent
January 28, 2015
14:43Atlético-PR's Marcos Guilherme wanted by Bayern Munich and Shakhtar
14:09Manchester City's Fernandinho chosen by Shakhtar fans as the best Brazilian in their history
14:06Roma's offer for Luiz Adriano considered low by Shakhtar
12:22Cruzeiro want Felipe Gedoz from Brugge but a transfer is difficult
12:17Alexandre Pato interests Everton
January 27, 2015
14:50São Paulo to sign Adrián Centurión from Racing
14:41Brazil U20's Marcos Guilherme says Uruguay's Facundo Castro called him a 'monkey' several times
12:05Luiz Adriano will only leave if the offer satisfies Shakhtar
12:00Éverton Ribeiro is in London to have his Al-Ahli medical
11:56Neymar thinks Cristiano Ronaldo should be punished
January 26, 2015
16:41Douglas Costa will be happy to continue at Shakhtar if they reject Chelsea's offer
12:04Darío Conca will earn more than Neymar at Shanghai Dongya
11:53Luiz Adriano sees advantage in playing in Italy and admits AS Roma interest
11:47Paulinho wants clarification over his Tottenham future
January 24, 2015
13:45Santos trying to sell Patito Rodríguez
13:40Tite says he wants Jádson to stay at Corinthians
13:35Fluminense coach Cristóvão says Fred is close to renewing his contract
13:30Cruzeiro reveals other offers for Éverton Ribeiro
13:26Cruzeiro president says Real Madrid paid what they asked for Lucas Silva
January 23, 2015
12:46Internacional might find it difficult to hold onto Aránguiz
12:42Álvaro Pereira to leave São Paulo and join Estudiantes
12:40Santos sign Marquinhos Gabriel on loan
12:37Cruzeiro will unveil De Arrascaeta today
12:33Douglas Costa confirms Shakhtar rejected Chelsea's initial offer
January 22, 2015
13:47Douglas Coutinho will go to Holland, says Doyen Group's representative
13:43Fluminense striker Fred has an offer from China and can leave soon
13:25Bernard again says he's unhappy at Shakhtar
13:17Lucas Silva's father confirms the rapprochement of Real Madrid
13:11Real Madrid willing to meet Cruzeiro's demands for Lucas Silva
January 20, 2015
15:12Jádson wants to continue at Corinthians
15:07Flamengo wants Cícero and Walter from Fluminense
14:46Fluminense coach Cristóvão also admits Conca is on his way out of the club
14:12Agent says De Arrascaeta went to Cruzeiro because of Internacional's delay
14:05Brazil U20 recover from the loss against Uruguay and overcomes Venezuela
January 19, 2015
13:35Montillo intends to return to Brazil and has an offer from Flamengo
13:28Werley released by Grêmio to negotiate with Santos
13:25Grêmio confirms the deal to sign defender Erazo
13:20Conca travels to Brazil in a separate flight and is close to returning to China
13:15Cruzeiro confirm the deal to sign De Arrascaeta
January 18, 2015
14:34Atlético Mineiro president says transfer fee of Diego Tardelli was higher than what was announced
14:30Fluminense confirm that Conca can leave but the club needs compensation
14:24Conca has an offer from a Chinese team which is believed to be Shanghai Dongya
14:19Corinthians on the verge of completing Edu Dracena's signing
14:11Cruzeiro to complete the transfer of De Arrascaeta
January 17, 2015
20:12Cruzeiro's Dedé requires surgery and will be out for around 8 months
19:25Cruzeiro make last minute offer for De Arrascaeta and competes with Internacional
17:15Cruzeiro have signed Riascos
16:30Botafogo reaches agreement to sign Tomás
15:54Palmeiras to sign Ryder Matos from Fiorentina
January 07, 2015
18:41Brazil squad announced for 2015 South American Youth Football Championship
January 19, 2015
20:37Willian: 'Chelsea controlled the game'
January 11, 2015
19:49Coritiba confirm the signings of Negueba and Pedro Ken
17:17De Arrascaeta to Internacional can be announced any time now, says Defensor president
January 04, 2015
16:03Mircea Lucescu: Tour of Brazil will become part of Shakhtar history
15:08Lucescu: Shakhtar’s Brazil tour will be part of the history
January 03, 2015
12:16Sergei Palkin: It’s important for us to play with the top teams of the Brazilian league
January 02, 2015
16:49Cruzeiro confirm survey from Mexico regarding Anselmo Ramon
15:28Internacional have competition from Europe for De Arrascaeta
14:16No contacts with Internacional, says Sandro's agent
14:13Shakhtar goes on tour across Brazil
December 30, 2014
17:18Fluminense director says no offer for Darío Conca
December 25, 2014
14:37Leandro Damião to Cruzeiro is back on
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
January 28, 2015
20:41New Arsenal signing Gabriel Paulista has "huge desire to play in the Premier League"
18:11Pereira could be on way out at Manchester United
17:02Milan and Valencia consider Paulinho bids
16:00Fluminense midfielder Darío Conca denies he is joining Shanghai SIPG for the money
15:51Report: Juventus close in on €11 million deal for Fluminense midfielder Gerson
15:43Grêmio officials deny defender Rhodolfo is set to join Internazionale on loan
January 27, 2015
23:37Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa praises Chelsea manager José Mourinho
21:52Report: Fenerbahçe target Grêmio forward Marcelo Moreno
21:39Cruzeiro agree deal to sign defender Eugenio Mena on a free transfer from Santos
21:29São Paulo loan defender Luis Ricardo to Brasileirão Série B side Botafogo
January 26, 2015
22:32Midfielder Lucas Silva "felt emotional" during Real Madrid unveiling
22:03Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista given work permit to secure Arsenal move
21:55Report: Milan ready to rival Al Ahli Club bid for Cruzeiro midfielder Everton Ribeiro
21:45Report: Roma to pursue Shakhtar Donetsk forward Luiz Adriano as alternative to Chelsea's Mohamed Salah
January 25, 2015
20:45Report: Queens Park Rangers offered Corinthians forward Alexandre Pato
20:40Manager Arsene Wenger confirms Arsenal are set to sign Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista
January 24, 2015
22:39Report: Everton latest club linked with Corinthians forward Alexandre Pato
22:30Report: Arsenal set to seal €14.7 million deal for Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista
January 23, 2015
22:13Report: Manchester United to rival Arsenal bid for Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista
22:02Sporting CP announce deal for Anzhi defender Ewerton
21:57Real Madrid sign Cruzeiro midfielder Lucas Silva
January 22, 2015
16:22Arsenal are close to finally signing Gabriel Paulista - Wenger confirmed
January 21, 2015
23:25Report: Manchester United quoted €86 million for Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos
15:46Forward Ryder Matos eager to earn a starting berth at Palmeiras after joining on loan from Fiorentina
15:37Report: Milan tracking Fluminense forward Kenedy
15:34Lazio confirm they have agreed a deal with Sporting CP for defender Maurício
January 20, 2015
15:10Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho hopeful of Wembley appearance
15:00Fluminense Head Coach Cristóvão Borges confirms offer from China for midfielder Darío Conca
January 19, 2015
15:56Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu explains why his team are touring Brazil
15:20Barcelona confirm thigh injury will keep defender Douglas out for "three to four weeks"
15:10Report: Juventus to rival Roma bid for Shakhtar Donetsk forward Luiz Adriano
15:00Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista refusing to be distracted by reported Arsenal interest
15:00Report: Midfielder Lucas Leiva open to Liverpool exit amid Atlético de Madrid and Internazionale interest
January 18, 2015
22:59Galatasaray defender Alex Telles denies he has received offers to move elsewhere
January 17, 2015
22:46Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho prefers to praise team despite individual contribution of Diego Costa and Oscar to win over Swansea City
January 16, 2015
22:40Juan Jesus unhappy that with Giorgio Chiellini's handling of 'elbow' altercation
22:31Internazionale defender Juan Jesus explains 'elbow' on Giorgio Chiellini
17:19Report: São Paulo are back in for Darío Conca
January 15, 2015
16:37Report: Sampdoria consider Corinthians forward Alexandre Pato as alternative to Everton's Samuel Eto'o
15:46Ronaldo open to making return to playing with North American Soccer League side Fort Lauderdale Strikers
15:07Veteran defender Betão rejoins Dynamo Kyiv on a free transfer
January 13, 2015
15:12São Paulo have received an offer for Osvaldo from Al-Ahli
13:15Lucas Lima to stay at Santos
12:13Report: Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva once again linked with a move to Napoli
09:38Report: Milan in talks with Atlético de Madrid over possible deal for full-back Guilherme Siqueira
09:29Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson disappointed injury forced him off in the Derby della Capitale
09:28Guangzhou Evergrande confirm deal for Cruzeiro midfielder Ricardo Goulart
09:19Palmeiras secure loan agreement for Henan Jianye forward Rafael Marques
January 12, 2015
23:34Agent Mino Raiola fears Lazio will struggle to retain midfielder Felipe Anderson
16:50Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure names Thiago Silva in his dream XI
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