By Paulo Armando & Robin Bairner
Alexandre Pato says he is glad he left AC Milan for Corinthians in January after making a goalscoring return for Brazil on Saturday night.
The 24-year-old came off the bench to score 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,” he explained. “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,” the forward 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 meet Portugal in a friendly on Tuesday and the ex-Internacional attacker will hope to further enhance his claims for a World Cup berth with another strong performance.