Fernandinho admits he “always dreamed” of playing at a FIFA World Cup and believes Manchester City move was decisive in earning him his place
Fernandinho has admitted he “always dreamed” of playing at a FIFA World Cup for Brazil.
The 29 year-old came of the bench to score in the Seleção’s 4-1 over Cameroon and performed sufficiently well to earn calls for him to be included from the start in Saturday’s Round of 16 clash against Chile.
Fernandinho’s rise to prominence with Brazil has taken longer than expected. The midfielder made his international debut in 2011 in a 3-2 defeat to Germany, but was often overlooked because he played in the unfashionable Ukrainian Premier League for Shakhtar Donetsk.
During his eight seasons with the Hirnyky, Fernandinho was capped just five times by Brazil, but his £34 million move to Manchester City in June 2013 brought him into the spotlight and he was recalled by Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari for the March friendly against South Africa - a game Brazil won 5-0, with Fernandinho amongst the scorers.
His performance in that tie earned the Londrina native his place in Felipão’s FIFA World Cup squad and Fernandinho believes he may not have got his chance if he hadn't joined Manchester City.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing in the World Cup and wearing the Seleção jersey, but I knew how difficult that was, what with me playing in Ukraine for Shakhtar,” he said to FIFA.com.
“Last year, though, when I moved to England and began playing in a much bigger league with a much higher profile, I could see things coming together for me. I fought hard, chased my dream and got the call-up for the game with South Africa in March.
“Everything I did from June 2013 onwards was with the goal of making it here to the World Cup.”
Scoring in a FIFA World Cup for Brazil on home soil was a dream for Fernandinho, but he was determined not to get carried away.
“Playing and scoring in the Seleção shirt in a World Cup, at home … well, there are so many things that go through your head,” he continued. “One of the biggest things for me was the excitement my family and friends were feeling at that moment. They were probably more excited than I was.
“I went back to the hotel, had a bath and tried to stay focused, while my family were at home getting congratulatory messages from everyone. I’m sure they felt more excited about the whole thing than me, but I was delighted to make them that happy.”