International football

Tite: Fernandinho turned down Brazil call-up due to threats

The Brazil manager has revealed the Manchester City midfielder elected not to accept a cap after social media abuse following the 2018 World Cup.

Tite: Fernandinho turned down Brazil call-up due to threats

Brazil coach Tite has revealed that Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho turned down a call-up to the Canarinha squad after receiving abuse and threats on social media, some of it directed at his family, after Brazil’s elimination at the 2018 World Cup.

Speaking to Sport TV on Saturday, Tite confirmed that he had included Fernandinho in his first post-Russia squad but said the 33-year-old told him he had promised his family he would never play for his country again after being targeted by online antagonists after scoring an own goal in the 2-1 defeat against Belgium.

The first player I wanted to call up [after the World Cup] was Fernandinho. He was the number one. He is an extraordinary player,” Tite said during the interview. “I went to talk to him personally because the Brazil national team is very proud to have a player of his dignity and professional bearing. Hopefully it’ll all blow over; I will help him as much as he needs.”

Fernandinho likened to Maracanazo keeper Moacir  

Fernandinho was also on the pitch when Brazil were hammered 7-1 by Germany at the 2014 World Cup on home soil but the midfielder, who has been capped 49 times by his country, was singled out after the quarter-final exit in Russia.

During the interview, Tite also made reference to Moacir Barbosa Nascimento, the late Brazil keeper who was in goal during the Maracanazo in 1950, when Uruguay beat Brazil in 2-1 in the final Rio de Janeiro. Moacir was made the scapegoat for what remains one of Brazil’s most painful defeats, famously saying later in life: "The maximum punishment in Brazil is 30 years imprisonment, but I have been paying, for something I am not even responsible for, by now, for 50 years."