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The Brazilian forward believes he never should have played against the Spanish giants and remains hopeful that he will feature for Brazil at the World Cup

AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato has admitted that he rushed himself back into action in the 3-1 Champions League defeat against Barcelona on April 3.

The 22-year-old returned against the Catalans after a month on the sidelines, but picked up a new muscular injury which ruled him out for the rest of the campaign.

"I should not have played against Barcelona," Pato told TV Globo. "Everyone decided that I could play, including myself."

A series of injuries have restricted Pato to just 18 competitive appearances this term, but the Brazil international disputed the notion that he has been plagued by muscular problems.

"It has been said that I have suffered 14 muscular injuries, but that is not true," he said.

"I have had ankle injuries, which is normal for any player, two on each ankle. I have also had a shoulder injury and a small problem with my knee.

"The time I have spent on the sidelines has not been only because of muscular problems."

Questioned about a return to the national team, Pato stressed that he must first regain full fitness and compete on a regular basis.

"The only way that I can show myself to [Brazil coach] Mano Menezes is on the field," Pato noted. "I work every day knowing that my country will host the World Cup in 2014, and that my family will have the chance to watch me play."

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