Brazil call on Dante

Bayern Munich's Brazilian centre back has been rewarded for his excellent form with a call up to the Brazilian national squad for the friendly against England on February 6th.

Although many have suggested that Dante's inclusion is based solely on the injury to PSG's Thiago Silva, there is far more to the defender than simply acting as a replacement. His form at Borussia Mönchengladbach last season prompted Bayern to make a move for him and what a decision that has proved to be. The club's number four has been a rock in the heart of the record-champions' defence and has so far made the injury-enforced absence of Holger Badstuber look like bearable.

His age is something that most assume though. At 29, Dante has been what some may call, a 'late bloomer' or least rcognised later on in his career. Spells at Lille and Standard Liege facilitated his move to Gladbach and with each move came an improvement in his performance. On hearing the news about his call up, Dante said, "I am very happy with my first call up to the national team. It is very gratifying to have my work recognised even though I have a long and hard way to go. I will work very hard to repay the faith that has been placed in me."

The Selecao squad boasts a host of talent including some of the old guard, namely Ronaldinho, Luis Fabiano and Julio Cesar. As much as the friendly against England at Wembley provides a plethora of undercurrents, a number of eyes will be keen to see how the return of Scolari has affected Brazil ahead of their World Cup next year. For many in Brazil it will just be about getting to know Dante, a man who remains a bit of a mystery to the country he is due to represent.

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