Fernandinho Named to First Brazil Squad Since 2012

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  Fernandinho of Manchester City celebrates scoring their fifth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on December 14, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Fernandinho has been selected for the Brazilian national team for the first time since 2012, with Luiz Felipe Scolari including the midfield anchor in his squad for the friendly against South Africa on March 5.

The Brazilian national team confirmed the news through their official website (report in Portuguese), while Manchester City tweeted to announce that their summer acquisition had made his return to the fold:

Fernandinho has been hugely impressive since completing a £30 million move to the Etihad Stadium from Shakhtar Donetsk last June, helping Manuel Pellegrini's side into another Premier League title race.

His last appearance for the national side came in February 2012 in a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Mano Menezes was still at the helm.    

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15:  Fernandinho of Manchester City collides with the net during the Budweiser FA Cup Third Round Replay match between Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers at the Etihad Stadium on January 15, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (P
Stu Forster/Getty Images

The other new face in the Selecao selection is Bayern Munich's Rafinha.

The Telegraph's Juan Arango quotes the Brazil manager as heaping praise on Fernandinho for his work in recent months, the move to England's top flight evidently helping his quest to feature at the 2014 World Cup:

It's a healthy conundrum for Scolari to be in, his host nation being faced with a dilemma over which players to pick from amongst one of the most talented pools of players on the international scene.

Squawka statistics show that Fernandinho has made more than 120 tackling attempts so far this season, albeit winning just 51 of those duels, not to mention a heading success rate of 78 percent.

Since his last appearance as an international player, Fernandinho's star has risen considerably, his reputation as a midfield general in the Ukrainian top flight only amplified since becoming a Citizen.

By the time he travels to Soccer City in March, it will have been more than two years since the 28-year-old last pulled on the famous yellow and green.   

Fernandinho's timing couldn't have been better, and any bid to feature in Brazil this summer will only be helped by further success at the club level.

Along with the likes of Paulinho, Ramires and Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho will look to add a bit more steel to the Brazilian engine room, leaving the more creative responsibilities to their wealth of attacking talent.

One could also argue that this is the player's last chance to have a World Cup impact, considering he'll be 33 by the time Russia 2018 comes about.