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Wendell knows path to World Cup is difficult behind Marcelo and Filipe Luis

11:25 pm AEST 28/7/17
HDP Wendell Bayer Leverkusen
With big names ahead of him just under a year out from the tournament, the Leverkusen full-back faces a difficult road to feature with the Selecao

Bayer Leverkusen left-back Wendell is dreaming of playing at next summer's World Cup with Brazil, but knows he faces intense competition. 

The 24-year-old was called up for the first time by the Selecao in October 2016, but has yet to earn a senior team cap. 

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And Wendell has acknowledged he faces an uphill climb to feature for his country at Russia 2018 due to the quality of the players ahead of him, who include Real Madrid's Marcelo and Atletico Madrid's Filipe Luis.

"I know it's difficult. Today, they [Marcelo and Filipe Luis] are the two best," Wendell told Goal

"They have been playing at a high level for a few years and I hope they stay that way. I keep working to one day get to their level and I think I'm close to achieving it."

Wendell made 38 appearances in all competitions for Leverkusen in 2016-17, as the club slumped to a disappointing 12th-place finish in the Bundesliga

Though he was the subject of interest from Italian side Roma, the defender is looking forward to continuing with Leverkusen in 2017-18.

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"The last season wasn't what I expected either for me or for Bayer Leverkusen, but I'm happy to be recognised for my football" Wendell said. 

"It is always gratifying to see great teams like Roma interested, but I treat this naturally. I renewed my contract last season and I'm happy playing in this great club."

If Leverkusen are to improve in 2017-18, they will have to do so without the services of striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, who was sold to West Ham United this month. 

"He's an excellent player," Wendell said of the Mexican forward. "We lost a great player and we will miss him, but we know that whoever is here can help the team."