Schalke defender Felipe Santana is refusing to give up hope of earning a spot in Brazil’s 2014 World Cup squad.
Santana, 27, joined Schalke from local rivals Borussia Dortmund ahead of the season after finding it difficult to break up Dortmund’s first-choice centre-back pairing of Neven Subotic and Mats Hummels.
He had hoped a one milllion euro move to Schalke would help him catch the eye of Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari ahead of the final but struggled for both minutes and form during the first half of the season.
However, when Schalke returned to action on Sunday, and took all three points back home from their trip to Hamburg, Santana won a rare start.
The Brazilian contributed an assist for Schalke winger Jefferson Farfan’s goal, with his solid performance in Hamburg provided a timely confidence boost.
“Every Brazilian dreams of the World Cup,” Santana told Bild. “To achieve that, I have to put in some super performances. But I have chances to achieve that.”
In an interview with Schalke’s website, Felipe Santana added that, despite “a perfect weekend,” which saw all other Bundesliga clubs competing for the Champions League fail to win, the Royal Blues still had a lot of work to do.
“We have a lot of important games left that we need to win to finish fourth and we have to approach them with just as much focus,” Santana said. “We mustn't lose sight of our goal and have to fight our way up the table bit by bit.”