Brazil were dealt with a tremendous blow soon after the news of Dani Alves missing the FIFA World Cup broke out. A major disruption was observed and for all right reasons. Alves, one of the best full-backs the sport has ever witnessed, has been one experienced campaigner for the Canarinha, being part of two FIFA World Cups. So him missing a trip to Russia was a blow in every sense. The Brazilian Football Federation, on the other hand, decided to act practical and rather than moaning for the loss, they announced the replacement soon.
They say one man's loss is another man's gain, but replacing an injured teammate always has that toll on the mind. Ask the 1990 World Cup finalist, Sergio Goycochea; the man who was never meant to be at the place he reached during the tenure. Argentina had their undisputed number 1, Nery Pumpido between the sticks, but a double leg fracture in as early as the second game ended his journey right away, giving Goycochea his time to shine.
Fagner, who is named to replace the injured Dani Alves, faces a similar fate. But his prototype faces a contrary situation to that of Goycochea. The reason you ask is none other than the recently crowned Premier League champion, Danilo. Well, that's a whole different core to make notes on so we will keep it right here. Meanwhile, as Tite was making the announcement of his Brazilian Football Team for the Russia tour live, Fagner - with his entire family - stood calm and firm in the living room.
Festa na casa do lateral direito Fagner... CONVOCADO PARA A SELEÇÃO BRASILEIRA! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/yPIDns1Ixk— Alex Tobias (@AlexNegrunes) May 14, 2018
On came the names of Felipe Luis, Marcelo, Marquinhos and before announcing the entire defensive pack, 'Fagner' echoed in the room, prompting everyone into a joyful celebration. So while others couldn't stop screaming, a certain Fagner made a methodical wrist shake out of celebration and hugged the woman standing right beside him. Of course, an emotional sight to witness.
Meanwhile, his inclusion in the squad was so radiant that it overshadowed the left-out of David Luiz, who struggled for the game time under Antonio Conte at Chelsea. All this has prompted the spectators to know more about Fagner; a 28-year-old right-back. Well, let's start with his journey from the beginning. Fagner started his career with Corinthians and after just one year with the club, he made his European move, joining Dutch side PSV Eindhoven. Struggling for game time, Fager decided to move back to his country, joining Vasco da Gama before making another European tour; this time a loan tenure with Bundesliga side, Wolfsburg.
Eventually in 2015, he made his move back to Corinthians and has been playing for the Time do Povo since. His international call, however, took time. He had already represented Brazil in U-20, but was named in the senior squad during the World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia in 2016.
That being his journey, but what about his game? Is he worthy enough to be tagged as Dani Alves replacement? Let's just settle at; if not the like-to-like, he is a sterling replacement. Fagner is your typical Brazilian full-back who loves to launch himself up the field and at the same time, loves engaging himself in making tackles. More than that, he excels in his passing and crossing technique which, in turn, is a plus for the likes of Neymar, Roberto Firmino and co. But what Tite needs to work upon is his aerial strength; something where Fagner struggles quite often.
At 168cm, struggling to cope with a towering presence is obvious, but that can't be an exception during a tournament like World Cup. Fagner, if given the opportunity, needs to be premier because let's be honest; at 28 years of age, he is soon reaching his prime.
Do your best, Fagner.