This December, Porto midfielder Fernando will be eligible to represent the Portuguese National Team. Due to gain dual citizenship with Portugal and Brazil in December, the midfielder has come out and stated that if called to the Seleccao, he would accept. This is the opposite of what he has previously stated, which was that he would only accept a call-up to the country of his birth, Brazil. With any chance of representing them internationally, it seems as if Fernando is choosing his second-choice, but according to his agent, that is not the case. His agent stated that Fernando has been in Portugal for almost seven years now, and his daughter was even born in the country.
Fernando was purchased from Brazilian side Vila Nova in 2007, and was immediately loaned to fellow first division Portuguese side, Estrela Amadora. After the loan spell (which proved successful), Fernando won a place in the starting lineup for Porto in the 2008-2009 season, and has essentially kept that starting spot ever since. A defensive midfielder, Fernando is a master at breaking up play, masterful enough to have had some wanting glances from Europe’s elite clubs. Inter and Everton have been interested recently, and for good reason. Fernando is a solid player, one that could add much to the Seleccao.
The primary formation that Portugal employs is essentially a 4-3-3. The team plays with a diamond midfield, and the four in the back are shielded by a holding , or defensive, midfielder. Miguel Veloso has filled that position under Bento’s reign, and despite initially impressing, has largely been mediocre. Veloso has an eye for a pass, but what he lacks is a good work-rate. That is Fernando’s specialty. Fernando is smart and hard-working, and would certainly be a viable replacement for Veloso.
So will Paulo Bento call up Fernando? It will be interesting to see. The last three Brazilians who joined the team were Deco, Pepe, and Liedson. Deco and Pepe were both integrated by Scolari, while Liedson was called on by Queiroz. There is one thing that all three had in common, however: They were well immersend in the Portuguese game. Deco and Pepe are Porto legends, while Liedson is arguably one of the most loved Sporting players of the 21st century. With Fernando already having amassed well over 100 league appearances for Porto, he certainly fits the bill as a true Seleccao player.