The Brazil midfielder was withdrawn at half-time of his side's victory over Cameroon but was praised his replacement after the Manchester City man scored the Selecao's fourth
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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.