Alexandre Pato says his move from AC Milan to Corinthians in January is a big reason for his return to the Brazil national team, for which he scored on Saturday.
Pato came off the bench to tally a goal in the Selecao’s 6-0 rout of Australia and now has his sights firmly set on turning out for his country when they host the World Cup next summer – something he believes is a real possibility thanks to his move back home.
"I believe I owe that call-up to how I've been playing at Corinthians lately,” Pato said. “I wanted to have a longer sequence of games and I got it. Now I'm here, and my new goal is to be at the World Cup."
Pato, who has seven goals in 16 Brasileiro Serie A matches this season, revealed that the news of his recall was particularly special for him.
"I was at home when I received the news that I had been called up, it was my birthday,” Pato said. “I'm even happier to have been called totally by surprise and to have scored on my first match back. The important thing is to keep on working to improve and do my best.”
Brazil meets Portugal in a friendly on Tuesday at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, and Pato will hope to further enhance his claims for a World Cup place with another strong performance.