Manchester City's Fernandinho Starting to Show Potential
That Manchester City's Fernandinho has never earned a call-up to the Selecao sums up Brazil's ludicrous well of talent and narrow-minded focus on Europe's elite leagues and domestic talent. The £30 million midfielder has been unfortunate in that all of his successes in his career so far have come while at Shakhtar Donetsk, in the far reaches of Eastern Europe.
The Selecao have traditionally ignored Brazilians plying their trade in the Ukraine and Russia, due to the inferior standard of their leagues and the perceived remoteness of the regions.
It's an odd situation considering that these countries have made a fortune out of investing in Brazilian talent, as evidenced by Shakhtar's sales of Willian, and Fernandinho himself, for massive sums of money and reinvestment of that money in yet more Brazilians.
It becomes even odder when you consider that the likes of Liverpool's Lucas Leiva was called up to the latest squad ahead of these players, despite the clear difference in ability.
You can appreciate now why Fernandinho was so eager to earn a move to the Premier League.
Not only was it a golden opportunity to play in one of the best leagues in the world, but it also represents an established route into the Selecao.
By demonstrating his talents in front of a worldwide audience, Fernandinho will be hoping to attract the attention of Luiz Felipe Scolari ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
No Brazilian, especially one with Fernandinho's talents, will want to miss out on a chance of winning the tournament on home soil.
Just as well then that there are signs of the Brazilian adapting to the rough and tumble of English football, with an understanding with midfield partner Yaya Toure starting to develop.
Citizens boss Manuel Pellegrini has made a point this season of pairing the duo together in a double pivot behind an attacking quartet consisting of the likes of David Silva, Jesus Navas, Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo.
Manchester City’s 3-1 win over West Ham United two weeks ago outlined just how good a partnership it could be, as the duo took turns to bomb forward in support of the attackers.
The game was arguably Fernandinho's finest performance so far, as a fantastic through ball for Sergio Aguero’s first goal early on gave the Brazilian a boost in confidence.
The City star would go on to complete 91 percent of his passes that game, according to Squawka, with two key passes leading to an assist.
Fernandinho also showed how much of a powerhouse he can be in the centre of the park, winning 16 of 17 headers so far this season in addition to a tackle-success rate of 85 percent.
He also laid on ten goalscoring chances for his teammates, although Aguero’s strike against the Hammers was the only assist so far.
The numbers are in Fernandinho’s favour, and even if statistics can prove misleading, Brazil will want to keep an eye on his form throughout the season.
The Brazilian could be a superb alternative to Tottenham’s Paulinho going into the World Cup, with Scolari seeing Chelsea’s Ramires as a utility midfielder capable of playing on the right as well.
Time is running out for Fernandinho as Scolari continues to experiment with his call-ups, and, having failed to make the recent squad, he will have to keep knocking on the door.
But if the former Shakhtar midfielder recaptures the form that saw City fork out a small fortune for his services, a call-up is only a matter of time.
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