Brazil-born Fernando in Portugal World Cup bid

DNA| Updated: Dec 16, 2013, 15:11 PM IST

Rio de Janeiro: Midfielder Fernando is the latest Brazilian to switch allegiance after being granted Portuguese nationality.

The 26-year-old has been a mainstay in Porto`s midfield since joining the Primeira Liga club from Brazil`s Vila Nova in 2007, reports Xinhua.

It is understood the decision to apply for Portuguese nationality came at the behest of Portugal`s national coach Paulo Bento, who wants Fernando in his 2014 World Cup squad.

"Finally I`ve got it," Fernando said on Twitter. "I am proud to say I am officially Portuguese."

Porto manager Paulo Fonseca backed Fernando to make Bento`s final World Cup list.

"Maybe I am biased but Fernando is the best footballer in his position in Portugal so of course he would have a place in the national team," Fonseca said.

Fonseca joins a long list of Brazilian-born players to switch nationality.

Recent examples include Deco (Portugal), Marcos Senna (Spain), Pepe (Portugal) and Diego Costa (Spain).

Fernando`s contract with Porto expires in June and he has been linked with a move to Inter Milan.