EuroScout

Fernando: The young Gremio midfielder aiming to follow in the footsteps of greatness

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As Brazil continued their preparations for next year's World Cup finals with a 1-1 friendly draw gainst Russia at Stamford Bridge, we decided to take a closer look at the young Gremio midfielder Fernando Lucas.

Name: Fernando Lucas
Date of birth: March 3 1992
Place of birth: Erechim, Brazil
Nationality: Brazilian
Height: 1.74
Position: Midfielder
Current club: Gremio
Caps: Two

There are easier jobs in world football than trying to hold down a place in a Brazil team who are only 15 months or so away from hosting a World Cup finals in their homeland.

Brazil expects, but can men such as Fernando, only 21, be expected to burden such pressure when their country has high hopes of a sixth World Cup success on home soil?

Judging by his performance in the 1-1 draw with Russia in their international friendly at Stamford Bridge, in only his third outing under rehired manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, the robust and energetic Gremio midfielder appears to be a work in progress.

It would be fair to say he was probably outdone by the quality of his partner at the heart of the Brazilian midfield with Lazio's Hernanes showing why he is coveted by sides such as Milan and Juventus in Serie A.

With Brazil forced to continue to play friendlies of this nature, it is difficult to gauge the true value of players in such artificial surroundings rather than competitive World Cup qualifiers.

But that is not to say Fernando did not do his bit. Far from it. Brazil enjoyed large swathes of possession against Russia. Much of that was down to the considerable physical assets of Fernando.

He is also obviously blessed with a plethora of technical skills in midfield, but the inability to pick a final pass almost caught up with the South Americans as Russia struck the opener via Viktor Faitzulin on 73 minutes. Fernando had been alert to sweep the ball off his line seconds earlier with Brazil cut apart at the back.

It was Hulk's introduction as a substitute that led to Fred's equaliser late on rather than any incisiveness emanating from Fernando, Hernanes or Oscar.

Fernando has been chased by sides such as CSKA Moscow in Europe, but Gremio are battling to keep the youngster in South America.

Whether that happens could depend on whether or not he is good enough to nail down a place in Brazil's plans when they begin their bid to reclaim the World Cup on home territory.

Currently valued at a modest £4.4 million, that price tag is certain to rise if he hangs around the Brazil squad between now and next summer.

Player ratings

Pace: 7

Awareness: 7

Dribbling: 7

Delivery: 7

Shooting: 7

Brief analysis of Fernando's performance in Brazil's international friendly with Russia at Stamford Bridge on Monday, March 25.

5' Russia trying to keep the ball, but some nice sharp play by Fernando to break up an attack in midfield.

31' Brazil keeping the ball as Marcelo, Fernando and Neymar keep the ball for fun.

76' Naymer picks out Fernando, whose sweeping shot from 30 yards ends up straight in the arms of Gabulov. Will need to be better to beat the Russia goalkeeper from there.

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