Portugal boss Paulo Bento has spoken about the possibility of FC Porto midfielder Fernando being called up for the national team squad at the World Cup 2014. Portugal have been given a tough group at the World Cup since they will be up against favourites Germany along with teams like Ghana and United States. Due to the presence of players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, Portugal are considered as favourites to seal the second qualifying spot. Despite this, Bento is insistent on taking his best squad possible and this may even involve calling up players who were not born in Portugal.
Fernando was born in Brazil and has represented the South American’s at under 20 level. However, he has not featured for them at a senior level, which makes him eligible to represent Portugal after having become a citizen only recently. He has been in Portugal since 2007. Competition is extremely intense to get into the national team squad especially after the recent run of good form. Portugal managed a 5-1 win over Cameroon in a recent international friendly match. They have matches against Greece, Mexico and Ireland before the start of the World Cup.
Bento has revealed that he did not select Fernando for the Cameroon match because of reasons other than football.
“Fernando hasn’t been and could not have been called up for reasons not related to sport. The same that happens with Fernando happens with any other players. The fact he isn’t here right now doesn’t mean he can’t be when the squad is called up for the World Cup,” said Bento. Buoyed by the form of star Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal have gone on a spree of five matches without defeat and this run includes four consecutive victories. Their first match at the World Cup will be against Germany.