Bernard to Shakhtar Donetsk: Will Move Prepare Star for World Cup 2014?

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Bernard to Shakhtar Donetsk: Will Move Prepare Star for World Cup 2014?
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Bernard has finally completed his protracted move to Shakhtar Donetsk in a €25 million deal, but will the switch to the Ukraine help to establish himself in the Selecao squad ahead of Brazil 2014?

The former Atletico Mineiro star penned a five-year contract with the Miners, after their bid was accepted by the Brazilian club.

Tottenham failed to up their initial offer and despite their reported interest, Arsenal didn't even bother to submit an offer, Atletico president Alexandre Kalil told Radio Itatiaia, as reported by Sambafoot.

"Tottenham made an offer of €18 million for Bernard but they withdrew. Arsenal told us that they would bid but never did so. So what we have now is a €25 million bid from Shakhtar."

FC Porto also failed to follow up their initial interest, as reported by Goal.com, paving the way for Shakhtar to snap up one of the Brasileirao's hottest talents.

Onlookers are already questioning Bernard's ambition in deciding to accept a move to Shakhtar and the Ukrainian league, especially with the 2014 World Cup looming.

But Bernard is in very safe hands with the Miners, who have a fantastic record of taking in Brazilians and turning them into finished products.

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The list of compatriots the former Galo star will be joining is staggering:

Douglas Costa, Taison, Luiz Adriano, Alex Teixeira, Ismaily, Ilsinho, Maicon, Alan Patrick, Dentinho, Bruno Renan and fellow new Brasileirao imports Fred, Fernando and Wellington Nem.

Bernard will certainly be made at home with such a cast, and he will be hoping to emulate the success of Fernandinho, who signed for Manchester City in a €40 million deal earlier this summer.

Their dominance of the Ukrainian league also means that Shakhtar have qualified for the Champions League, and the opportunity to compete with Europe's best had undoubtedly influenced Bernard's decision to join.

The Miners demonstrated their ability to compete with the best as they showed in two thrilling clashes with Chelsea in the group stages of the competition last season, reaching the round of 16 only to be knocked out by eventual finalists Borussia Dortmund.

The move also ensures that the diminutive Brazilian keeps growing as a player by competing in the Champions League, rather than stagnating as some of his fellow stars have by staying in the Brasileirao.

Bernard may have been one of the Brasileirao's hottest properties this summer, but with Shakhtar the only club willing to match Atletico's price tag, he had to take the chance with other clubs unwilling to take the risk.

Even if he did receive an offer from the Premier League, it may not have been the best move for his career.

Has Bernard made the right decision in joining Shakhtar?

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Bernard is still growing as a player, and despite fellow Selecao star Oscar's success, the pressure of England's premier competition may have made a move to Tottenham or Arsenal a difficult prospect.

At worst, Bernard could struggle to adapt and lose his all-important place in the Selecao squad.

The Brazilian is already in manager Luiz Felipe Scolari's plans for Brazil 2014 after impressing in his small 12-minute cameo at the Confederations Cup in addition to his fine form for Atletico.

Bernard will not want to risk that by moving to a club where he is not guaranteed to be an initial success.

With Shakhtar, he will compete in a relatively less competitive league, with plenty of Portuguese speakers and the opportunity to play in the Champions League.

The Brazilian already has a ticket for Brazil 2014, and he cannot afford to lose it.

If Bernard excels with Shakhtar and the Selecao over the coming years, then he will be set for a big-money move to one of Europe's biggest clubs.

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