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Football: Fernandes ready to consider Russia call-up

Russian club CSKA Moscow's Brazilian defender Mario Fernandes has said he is considering playing for Russia at international level in future. the Sport-Express daily reported Monday.

MOSCOW: Russian club CSKA Moscow's Brazilian defender Mario Fernandes has said he is considering playing for Russia at international level in future. the Sport-Express daily reported Monday.

"Of course I've been always dreaming of playing for my native country since I've been a child," the newspaper quoted the 23-year-old back as saying.

"But the competition for a place in the Brazilian squad is incredibly high and I'm ready to consider the possibility of playing for Russia if I am asked.

"The top Brazilian guys that are currently playing at my position -- Dani Alves, Maicon, Rafinha, Rafael da Silva -- are all unbelieveably talented.

"I work hard at practice and matches every day and I still hope that some day the Lord will give me a chance and I'll receive a call into the Brazilian squad.

"But I don't want to wait for this chance until the end of my career."

Fernandes, who played 58 times and scored one goal for Brazilian side Gremio before joining CSKA in 2012, said that he considered Russia to have one of the best teams in the world despite a lacklustre performance in Brazil, where they failed to make it to the last 16.

"Russia are the strong team. They won their qualifying group finishing ahead of Portugal, who were clear favourites.

"They failed to make their dreams come true in Brazil. But (Russia coach Fabio) Capello is a great coach and I'll be happy to work with him."

Earlier this year Capello complained that he had a very limited choice of footballers for Russia's national side.

The 68-year-old former England manager called on Russia Football Union chiefs to consider selecting foreign players who express willingness to change citizenship in order to get into the Russian squad.

"Many European teams have been using this strategy. Why did Russia neglect this opportunity?" Capello questioned.

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