Andreas Pereira in a training session with United

Andreas Pereira makes historic Brazil debut

Andreas Pereira created history last night, by becoming the first foreign-born player to represent the Brazilian national team in over 100 years, during a 5-0 win over El Salvador in Maryland, USA.

United’s no.15 was introduced as a substitute in the 70th minute, replacing Barcelona midfielder Arthur with the score at 4-0.

Pereira was born in Duffel in Belgium, but qualifies for Brazil due to the nationality of his father, who was also a former professional footballer. In making his debut, he is confirmed as the first player born outside of Brazil to don the national shirt since Francisco Police in 1918, and only the fourth in Selecao history.

Brazil won the match comfortably thanks to a penalty from Neymar, a brace from Everton new-boy Richarlison and further strikes from Philippe Coutinho and Marquinhos. Pereira himself almost managed to grab a place on the scoresheet with a testing shot from distance.
Clearly delighted, Pereira used his Instagram account to post a selection of images from his debut appearance and the following words (translated from Portuguese):
“Do you know that dream that doesn’t stop pulsing with your heart? Yeah… that shirt… that shield is my dream every day. Thank God for this opportunity!”

Pereira hits stunner against LiverpoolVideo

The technically-gifted midfielder has always been keen to stress his desire and determination to play for the nation of his father’s birth, telling Inside United in 2016:
“My ultimate dream is to play for the first team of Brazil and win a World Cup. That’s my biggest dream.”

Last night, Pereira achieved the first element of that dream, having patiently waited for a second opportunity in this latest international break - he had watched Saturday's 2-0 win over USA from the bench.

Pereira’s historic achievement completed a pleasing evening for United’s international stars in general. His compatriot Fred was also involved in Brazil’s match with El Salvador at FedEx Field, coming on at half-time to replace Real Madrid’s Casemiro.

Elsewhere, Marcus Rashford netted the only goal in England’s match against Switzerland at the King Power Stadium in Leicester – his second strike in two games for the Three Lions – while Romelu Lukaku bagged two in Belgium’s 3-0 victory over Iceland.

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