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Fernandinho of Manchester City Image Credit: Agencies

Sao Paulo: Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho refused to rejoin the Brazilian national football team because of the threats and insults made against his family on social media following his disappointing performance at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the squad’s coach, Adenor Leonardo ‘Tite’ Bacchi, said in an interview this weekend.

Tite told Sport TV that he contacted Fernandinho after the World Cup to discuss his role on the projected roster for upcoming matches, but the 33-year-old Man City player said he had promised his family that he would not return to the national team, according to media reports.

“The first player that I wanted to call up (after the World Cup) was Fernandinho. The number one. He’s an extraordinary player, he gives you everything he’s got,” the national team coach said.

Fernandinho, whose name is Fernando Luiz Roza, was on the field when Germany blew out Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup and had an own goal against Belgium in the World Cup quarter finals in Russia last summer.

Belgium edged Brazil 2-1, eliminating the South American squad from the tournament and leaving Brazilian fans dejected.

After the World Cup, Fernandinho was criticised endlessly by fans and found himself the target, along with his family, of attacks on social media.

“I went to speak with him in person because the Brazilian team is very proud to have a player with his dignity and professionalism. I’m not dumb enough to call up a bad player. I hope he sees the light, I’m going to support him a lot,” Tite said.