Manchester City midfielder Fernando talks about Brazil, Portugal and James Rodriguez
In an interview with the Guardian, the former Porto star also outlined his plans to become a key part of Manuel Pellegrini’s plans at the Etihad Stadum.
Fernando is looking to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Fernandinho, whose dreams of wearing the Brazil shirt were realised after spending several years in Ukraine before an impressive spell at Manchester City gave him the chance he needed in the Seleção.
After applying for Portuguese citizenship in 2013, Fernando could have played for his adopted nation had FIFA not ruled against the switch due to the fact that the player had featured for Brazil’s Under-20 squad in the 2007 South American championship. FIFA’s denial, however, may yet be Brazil’s gain.
“Every time there was going to be an announcement I followed the news. But there came a time where I just thought that maybe my international career was destined to happen in Portugal. I left Brazil at 19, a lot of people still don’t know who I am back home,” said the 27-year-old.
Fernando’s domestic career is limited to the 57 games he played for minnows Vila Nova. In seven years at with Porto, however, Fernando won the Europa League medal, three league titles and three Portuguese Cups, and was an influential player in the dressing room.
“I am not a guy who goes for the limelight. I prefer to work for the team on and off the pitch. It’s part of my job to be discreet and help the team where it’s needed. But it was a good thing that younger players arriving at Porto, like James Rodríguez, for example, sought my advice.”
Meanwhile, his new team-mate Fernandinho is happy to have him around.
“Fernando is a lovely guy and an experienced player that will strengthen our squad.”