Rafinha joy at end to Brazil exile

The defender is understandably delighted to be back in the Selecao squad after spending five years in the international wilderness

Bayern Munich full-back Rafinha has expressed his joy at being named in the Brazil squad for the upcoming international friendly against South Africa on March 5.

The defender, who represented his country at Under-20 and Under-23 level, won his only senior international cap in 2008, but was on Tuesday brought back into the Selecao fold by Luis Felipe Scolari.

"I’m very happy at being called up by the national team," Rafinha wrote on Twitter.

"I promise to honour the shirt like I always have! Thanks to everybody who always supported me."

Maicon was Dani Alves' understudy in the previous squad for the friendlies against Honduras and Chile in November but Scolari's right-hand man Carlos Alberto Parreira has made it clear that Brazil's focus is on creating genuine strength in depth.

"Scolari made it clear that the basic idea was to observe at least three players in every position," Parreira told SporTV News.

"This is to combat the unforeseen that happen each season. We had already utilised Daniel and Maicon a lot. We needed a third name."

Rafinha has established himself in the Bayern starting XI this season, having been aided by Pep Guardiola's decision to convert Philipp Lahm into a midfielder.