CSKA Moscow defender Mario Fernandes has revealed that he is open to the possibility of representing Russia at the upcoming World Cup 2018. Russia will be hosting the 2018 edition of the tournament. This will be followed by a successful World Cup 2014. Brazilian born Fernandes has presented the South American team so far. Since he has been residing long enough in Russia, he is eligible to become an immigrant of the European nation. Due to the lack of quality options available at the disposal of Fabio Capello, it has been rumoured that Fernandes may be selected for the Russian national team.
Brazilian players representing other teams is not new, as competition is intense within the South American team. Many stars like Deco and Diego Costa have chosen to represent their adopted nations after failing to get into the Brazilian national team. Fernandes, however, was once called up for the Brazilian national team a few years ago, but he cited personal reasons and avoided that opportunity. The 23-year-old is likely to be at the prime of his career when the World Cup 2018 kicks off. His current form is likely to see him call up for Russian national team. After making more than 40 appearances since moving to CSKA Moscow from Gremio in 2012, Fernandes is now eligible for residency.
“Of course I always dreamed of playing for my native country as a child, but the competition for a place in the Brazil squad is incredibly high and I am ready to consider the possibility of playing for Russia if they ask me,” said Fernandes. Brazil called up Fernandes for the high-profile match against Argentina back in 2011. Representing the South American nation in the Superclasico de Americas match would have seen Fernandes becoming ineligible for the Russian national team.