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Brazil call-up

Dante determined to seize his chance

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By nature, Dante is an amiable and cheerful person. He laughs a lot, he is always approachable, and he exudes joie de vivre. But his grin as he arrived at the Säbener Strasse facility on Wednesday was broader than ever before, partly due to the weak rays of sunshine and the hint of spring in the Munich air, but mainly due to a message from Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari handing the player a maiden call-up to the Brazil national squad.

The Bayern defender has yearned after that invitation for a very long time. Tireless worker Dante has finally achieved his goal of a summons to the inner circle of the Seleção, and a place in the squad of the five-time world champions. “I’ve taken the first step. I want to seize this chance and show my qualities,” the Brazilian told, “I’m very, very happy about the call-up.”

Friendly in London

Together with the other players in the 20-strong Seleção party, the 29-year-old will contest a prestige friendly against England in London on 6 February, where he is hoping for the chance to display his credentials. Asked whether Dante could feature at the Confederations Cup or even at the 2014 World Cup, Scolari called for action on the player’s part: “Obviously, it depends on him and the way he plays.” The February friendly offers a mere two days for the centre-back to settle in and make his mark. “We’ll have to wait and see,” the Brazil boss commented.

Naturally, Dante will do everything within his power to realise the dream of appearing at his home World Cup. “I’m aiming high. There’s no way I’ll ease back now, I’ll work even harder and try and make a convincing case for myself,” he declared. Top performances for Bayern would be the best possible evidence.