Filipe Luis content with life as Marcelo's Brazil understudy

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The former Chelsea man faces tough competition for the World Cup, with Alex Sandro also setting his sights on a call-up for Russia

Atletico Madrid left-back Filipe Luis acknowledges that he is behind Marcelo in the Brazil pecking order, but hopes to seal his place for Russia 2018 as the Real Madrid star's understudy. 

The former Chelsea defender will get his chance with the Selecao this week after Marcelo was ruled out through injury for the side's clash against Colombia on Tuesday. 

With Alex Sandro impressing at Juventus and also receiving a call-up, however, he is by no means assured of making the cut for the World Cup in less than a year's time.

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Still, Filipe points out that whenever Marcelo, widely regarded as one of the best full-backs on the planet, has been unavailable he has stepped up to fill the gap. 

"Almost every time that Marcelo could not play I have been chosen. I know it is not easy to keep that going," he told a press conference. 

"It is getting harder and harder to receive the call, there is a lot of competition in that position. It makes me, Marcelo and whoever wants to be here work even harder for our clubs and for Brazil. 

"Being in Tite's plans makes me very proud. I have to always be attentive and at the top of my game."

Lionel Messi Filipe Luis Barcelona Atletico Madrid Copa del Rey 02072017

Aside from the aforementioned trio, Bayer Leverkusen's Wendell and Jorge of Monaco have also been called up by Tite in the past year, while the coach has praised two Brazil-based players, Corinthians' Guilherme Arana and Cruzeiro's Diogo Barbosa. 

But Filipe Luis is focusing solely on his own game, and hopes he can make the most of his opportunity to shine in the upcoming World Cup qualifier in Barranquilla. 

"Every player is selfish and wants to play. But Tite has managed to ensure that a lot of players come here without knowing if they will play and they are happy to help the team," he added. 

"To get the chance to play for Brazil is always special. It doesn't matter what game, it is just as important. You know it could be your last game or the first of many. 

"I'm here with the same philosophy I always have: to give my best, to not try and be more than who I am nor less. Playing always for the team, so things work out naturally. This moment is a great one and it is always difficult to come in for such a good team-mate. But it is the ideal time to play."

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