Andreas Pereira is now ready to make his international debut for Brazil.
After some doubts whether he should play for Belgium or his parents’ home country, the Manchester United has been called up for the South American side, and could feature in the friendlies against United States and El Salvador.
The 22-year-old has spoken to Globo Esporte this weekend, and revealed that his teammate Romelu Lukaku tried to persuade him to play for Belgium.
“He tried to convince me. He spoke to me: ‘You have to play for Belgium’. He came to talk to me, he’s always talking to me. I told him ‘it’s difficult, Lukaku, can’t do it, it’s not the same. Playing for Belgium is something else. Playing for Seleção… It’s Brazil, I feel at home’. Then he said: ‘If that’s the way it is, you have to follow your heart’. And then he respected my decision.”
Andreas was in Belgium when Brazil were eliminated by the Red Devils in the World Cup. He claims it wasn’t easy to take the banter.
“It was complicated. I was in Belgium watching and it was difficult to see Brazil lose. Everybody messing with me. Wow, it was… I was very angry,” he told Globo Esporte.
“My friend, I have a friend from Belgium, I was watching with him. I couldn’t do it, I left the room, I was very… I got very mad. And they all messed, my father’s friends saying ‘wow, look at Brazil there, you have to choose Belgium, you have to choose Belgium’. I said, ‘wow, I can’t do it, I can’t do it’.”
Andreas has also talked about his passion for Brazilian club Santos. Even though he’s always claimed to be a fan, there are some pretty strong quotes this time. He claims that if he goes play in Brazil someday, it will be to sign for them.
“I’m a Santista. My whole family is Santista and I grew up being a Santista. If it’s to play, I’d rather play at Santos, end my career there. I think it’s a dream. There’s a lot of players who say I’m crazy, but I’d play for free at Santos if I have to. It’s a dream. Who knows right after Manchester, winning a couple of titles here.”