CSKA Moscow defender Mario Fernandes could play for Russia at 2018 World Cup
Brazilian defender Mario Fernandes has revealed that he is looking into the possibility of representing Russia at the next World Cup, as he sees the competition in his homeland as being too intense.
Fernandes, 23, moved to CSKA Moscow from Gremio in 2012 and has made 40 appearances for the team from the capital. He clearly sees a residency rule aiding his World Cup dream and after missing out on playing for the recent host nation, deems the next as a good opportunity.
"Of course I always dreamed of playing for my native country as a child, but the competition for a place in the Brazil squad is incredibly high and I am ready to consider the possibility of playing for Russia if they ask me."
Fernandes controversially spurned a previous chance to play for Brazil when he turned down a squad call-up in 2011 for a Superclasico de Americas match with Argentina, citing personal problems whist at Gremio.