The 28-year-old goalkeeper is out to capitalise on a starting place against Romania by impressing enough to cement a berth in Mano Menezes’ squad.
Ronaldo’s farewell is monopolising the build-up to Brazil’s friendly against Romania on Tuesday, but there is much more at stake than sentiment for many of the 34-year-old’s colleagues: namely places in Mano Menezes’ squad for next month’s Copa America.
One man who will have a chance to strengthen his case for a ticket to Argentina is Victor. Following Julio Cesar’s release from the Brazil squad, in order to recuperate from a long season in Europe, the 28-year-old Gremio keeper will start at the Pacaembu, and he is eager to make an impression.
“The game is only festive for Ronaldo, for all the rest of us it’s crucial because we’re competing for places at the Copa America,” Victor explained to Brazilian reporters.
The former Paulista man, who was voted into the Campeonato Brasileiro’s team of the season in 2008 and 2009, made his Brazil debut in a 2-0 win over the USA last August and also kept clean sheets in wins over Iran and Ukraine. He conceded his first international goal in the 1-0 loss to Argentina in November.
“I have to seize the moment and grasp this opportunity. I have to think that from now on, I must do everything possible to cement my place in the Selecao.”
Brazil will kick off their Copa America campaign against Venezuela on July 3, before taking on Paraguay and Ecuador in Group B. The Selecao have won four of the past five editions of the tournament – Colombia were the surprise winners in 2001 – but have only eight titles overall, six less than both Argentina and Uruguay.