Napoli goalkeeper Rafael Cabral hoping for Seleção return under DungaReferee Ivan Bebek stops the match due to an injury on Napoli's goalkeeper Rafael Cabral during their Europa League match against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea on February 20, 2014
Napoli goalkeeper Rafael Cabral is hopeful that he can win his place back in the Brazil national team.
The 24 year-old, who has been capped three times and made his debut in a 4-1 win over the United States in May 2012, was overlooked by former Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
The veteran tactician preferred the more experienced Diego Cavalieri, Júlio César, Jefferson and Victor as his goalkeepers, while Rafael suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in a UEFA Europa League clash against Swansea City which ruled him out for the rest of the 2013/14 campaign.
With Felipão gone and Júlio César retired from international football, Rafael - a member of Brazil’s 2012 Summer Olympics squad - is confident that he can return to the Seleção under new Head Coach Dunga.
“I was in contention, but then Scolari decided not to call me up,” he told Radio Kiss Kiss, as reported by Football Italia. “I hope to win back my place for the national team now Dunga has been appointed.”
Rafael’s first task will be to secure his place as Napoli’s first choice goalkeeper. With José Manuel Reina having returned to owners Liverpool, he is in contention with Roberto Colombo, Antonio Rosati and Argentina international Mariano Andújar for a starting berth.
The Brazilian, who was signed from Santos for €5 million last June, is likely to be preferred by Head Coach Rafael Benítez and showed his worth in the eleven appearances he made last season.