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Brazil fans back Jefferson

Jefferson has received public backing from Brazil fans after losing his place as his country’s no.1.

The Botafogo goalkeeper had started every game for which he was eligible under Dunga until last month, when he was dropped for the Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour victories over Costa Rica and USA.

Gremio’s Marcelo Gorhe took his place in September, coming into the side to earn his first two international appearances.

Jefferson returned to the starting line-up for the 2-0 defeat to Chile in World Cup qualifying but received criticism for Chile’s opener, when he got a hand to Eduardo Vargas’ close-range volley but was unable to keep it out.

He was then dropped days later as Internacional’s Alisson came in for the 3-1 victory over Venezuela, with Grohe unavailable through injury, a decision with which former World Cup winner Carlos Alberto strongly disagreed.

“I do not agree with the way he lost his place,” said Carlos Alberto last week. “For me, he did not fail [in the game against Chile]. The goal arrived in a very quick move.

“Before the game, nobody in the press suggested that Jefferson should be dropped.”

Dunga is now rumoured to be ready to recall Valencia’s Diego Alves, with local press suggesting Jefferson could be left out of the squad entirely when the five-time world champions resume their Russia 2018 qualification campaign.

He started in the two victories against Turkey and Austria in November last year in a squad restricted to European-based players but failed to keep his place in the squad.

And viewers of Globo’s Esporte Espetacular believe Jefferson should be recalled to the starting line-up against Argentina in November, as 37% of voters named him as their first-choice Brazil goalkeeper.

The 32-year-old was immediately made no.1 when Dunga named his first squad in September last year and impressed with a number of assured, solid performances, kicking off his career as Brazil’s no.1 with four consecutive clean sheets.

The highlight of his fine start to life in international football arrived in October 2014 as he turned in a stunning performance in the Superclasico de las Americas, stopping a Lionel Messi penalty to ensure a 2-0 victory over Argentina.

If he is omitted from the squad next month, Alisson and Grohe are expected to battle it out with Diego Alves for a start between the posts. 

However, Atletico Mineiro’s Victor, who was a member of the 2014 World Cup squad, is also in contention and Corinthians’ Cassio has also impressed for Tite’s table-topping side.

Jefferson returned to club duty this past weekend and received huge support from the Botafogo fans in a 4-0 victory over Bragantino.

“I'm very glad for the support they've always had for me,” said Jefferson, who has now made over 400 appearances for the club.  “This crowd has always been with me and I am very grateful.”

Botafogo sit three points clear at the top of Brazil’s second division with eight games remaining.

Brazil resume qualification next month against Argentina at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires.