Luiz Adriano’s Brazil call-up is as sensible as it is richly-deserved.
Sensible, for a national side in desperate need of an in-form centre-forward, and richly-deserved, for a player who scored a Champions League quintuple on Wednesday and, at 27, is Shakhtar Donetsk’s record goalscorer.
Selecao manager Dunga made the decision on Thursday, as per the Guardian, and also brought the striker’s Shakhtar teammate, Douglas Costa, into the fold.
Brazil will be using completely foreign-based squads in November friendlies against Turkey and Austria, and in the absences of Fred and Diego Tardelli—both of whom play their domestic football in the Campeonato Brasileiro—it’s likely that Luiz Adriano will be given the chance to take his senior, international bow.
He’ll no doubt be eager to earn his first cap.
An Under-20 international in 2007, the then-Internacional forward was part of Nelson Rodrigues’ South American Youth Championship winners—a group that also included the likes of Willian, Lucas Leiva, Fernando and Alexandre Pato.
The previous December, he had helped Inter to FIFA Club World Cup glory (they beat Barcelona in the final) and a month later sealed a €3 million move to Shakhtar.
It was in Ukraine that he, as well as Douglas Costa and other Brazilian nationals including Alex Teixeira and, until his switch to Chelsea, Willian, dropped off the Brazilian Football Confederation’s radar.
In a way, the CBF was shooting itself in the foot by overlooking hot-shot players offloaded to Eastern European—mostly Ukrainian—clubs by domestic outfits in need of cash, and given their recent, well-documented struggles in the centre-forward position the continued omission of Luiz Adriano was a glaring one.
But it’s now been rectified, and if the six-time Ukrainian Premier League winner can establish anything resembling a workable partnership with Brazil captain Neymar, Dunga will have succeeded in avoiding one of the pitfalls that condemned his predecessor, Luiz Felipe Scolari, to failure at the 2014 World Cup.
It may have taken five goals against BATE Borisov for Luiz Adriano to attract the attention he long deserved, but in calling up a striker who scored 25 goals last season and already has 10 in 2014-15, Brazil have addressed a need by bringing one of their in-form players out from the cold.