It’s safe to say Manchester City’s Fernandinho is currently one of the most successful Brazilians playing in Europe.
Since leaving his home country to join Shakhtar Donetsk back in 2005, the midfielder has won almost 20 club titles, a great achievement for any player in the world.
But just like many Brazilians who spend most of their careers out of the country, the 32-year-old doesn’t really have a big fanbase there. Besides not having a great spell for a big local club, he’s also much linked to the 7-1 defeat against Germany in the 2014 World Cup, when he made a couple of mistakes.
However, he’s still in the Brazilian national team, which is living some great days. Manager Tite was capable of bringing the squad back to the top, and they are already through the South American World Cup Qualifiers, with the Manchester City player a part of that.
Brazilian TV Channel Bandeirantes has a show called ‘Donos Da Bola’, on which pundits and former players chat for hours. And Fernandinho was ‘victim’ of the show this week.
First, journalist Dirceu Maravilha was commenting on the squad options Tite has, and said: “This Fernandinho, I don’t know why the guys talk so much about this Fernandinho. I don’t like this guy. I think he’s an ordinary guy. He was terrible at the World Cup, and the guys believe in Fernandinho, Fernandinho, Fernandinho.
“This Fernandinho never leaves the national team. I wish I had his agent, because then I’d go to the BBC in London. Because this agent is good.”
Then ex-player Neto, who presents the show, said he’d rather have Renato from Santos in team than the Manchester City player. Even with the latter being 38 years of age and barely having a big sequence of games at a high level, Neto said: “Who plays better, Renato or Fernandinho? For the last three, four years. He (Renato) just never had a chance.
“But I don’t know why he (Fernandinho) doesn’t leave the national team. I wanted to know why Fernandinho is called up every game. You can be sure. What did Fernandinho do for football? What did he do in English football? But he’s there.”
Football shows in Brazil aren’t too dissimilar from those in England, and perhaps even more outspoken. Fernandinho has probably heard it all before.