Coach Tite surprised by announcing defensive midfielder Matheus Nunes, who plays for Sporting Lisboa, as one of those called up to replace the players who play in the Premier League after the non-liberation of the clubs that dispute the competition for the World Cup qualifiers 2022. According to information from Portuguese journalist Pedro Sepúlveda, from SIC Notícias, however, soon after the midfielder was called up, coach Fernando Santos, from Portugal, contacted the player to demonstrate interest in having him in the national team. Portuguese. And the invitation ended up shaking the 23-year-old athlete, who decided not to appear for the Brazilian team.
The presentation of the Brazilian team to start the preparation for the games against Chile and Argentina is scheduled for Monday (30), in São Paulo. No longer able to count on Premier League players, coach Tite should not have Matheus Nunes either.
The player’s call was precisely to try to anticipate and avoid losing another Brazilian player to European teams. Recently, the country lost midfielder Jorginho, full-back Emerson Palmieri and defender Rafael Toloi, both European Cup champions against Italy. But the list already has names like Thiago Alcântara, Rodrigo Moreno and Diego Costa, who opted for Spain, and Mário Fernandes, who plays for Russia, among others.
Born in Campo Grande, Rio de Janeiro, Matheus Nunes moved with his mother and stepfather to Ericeira, which is next to Lisbon, when he was only 12 years old, and it was there where he started to take his first steps in football. Brazilians have a Portuguese passport and greater identification with the country. The player was already on the radar of coach Fernando Santos, who even commented on the athlete in the middle of the week, when he announced the squad for the games against Ireland and Azerbaijan, for the European qualifiers.
“Matheus Nunes is part of the observations of the national team,” said Fernando Santos, stressing that the Brazilian midfielder was on the list of 40 athletes on the Portuguese team’s radar. It is worth mentioning midfielder Otávio, also Brazilian, revealed by Internacional and who plays for Porto, was summoned to defend Portugal on this FIFA Date.
The ‘maneuver’ adopted by CBF with Matheus Nunes has already been used recently with Gabriel Martinelli, from Arsenal. The player could choose to play for Italy’s national team, but was called up for the Tokyo Olympic Games and opted to seek a spot in the Brazilian team. Andreas Pereira, recently hired by Flamengo, also went through a similar situation. Born in Belgium, the player played in the base divisions of the Belgian team until receiving an invitation to play for Brazil. In 2018, he was called up for some friendlies after the World Cup in Russia and, since then, he has not been called up again.