The Brazil midfielder was withdrawn at half-time of his side's victory over Cameroon but was praised his midfield replacement after the Man City man hit the Selecao's fourth goalBrazil midfielder Paulinho showed the sort of team spirit that has catapulted the Selecao to World Cup favourites by taking the time to congratulate Fernandinho on his performance against Cameroon.
The Tottenham Hotspur man may well have lost his place in the side after Fernandinho replaced him at half-time and capped his performance with Brazil’s fourth goal in a 4-1 victory in Brasilia on Monday.
The two are now competing for a role alongside Luiz Gustavo in central midfield and Paulinho says he will accept whatever decision coach Luiz Felipe Scolari takes.
"We accept [being on the bench], everyone wants to play the whole game, but we understand,” Paulinho told ESPN.
"I congratulated [Fernandinho], who is a guy who fights for his place in the side like everyone else.
“He was blessed by scoring an important goal for us – without it we could even ended up second in the group.
“Our goal was to be first and Fernandinho helped us with that.”
Brazil face Chile in the round of 16 in Belo Horizonte on June 28.