Fernandinho back in Brazil fold

Manchester City’s Fernandinho has been recalled to the Brazil squad for their friendly international against South Africa next month, returning to the national setup for the first time since 2012. The midfielder won the last of his five caps under former coach Mano Menezes, so far failing to make an appearance since Luiz Felipe Scolari’s return to the job. 

The 28-year-old has been a stand out star for Manchester City since his arrival at the Premier League side in the summer, playing a key role in helping the club into a position where they are still challenging for honours on four fronts. Despite missing three weeks due to injury, reports of Fernandinho’s form have clearly reached the ears of the Brazil head coach.

Fernandinho is one of a number of Premier League-based players named in the 16-man squad, joining Chelsea quartet David Luiz, Willian, Oscar and Ramires as well as Tottenham midfielder Paulinho, with QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar also included despite the currently finding himself frozen out of the Championship side’s first team.

There are a number of noticeable absentees from the squad that will travel to South Africa in March, including Liverpool duo Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Leiva as well as Robinho, Kaka, Hernanes and Maicon. Scolari will add players from Brazilian clubs to the squad ahead of the match at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg on March 5.

Scolari will have the chance to look at a number of players in the friendly against South Africa before naming his 23-man World Cup squad on May 7. With the pressure of an expected home nation on his shoulders, Scolari will be well aware of the importance of making sure he picks the right 23 players for this summer’s tournament.

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