My time will come with Brazil, says young star Lucas
PSG's attacking midfielder, in Hong Kong for a friendly against Kitchee, missed out on the World Cup but still sees a bright future ahead
Paris Saint-Germain attacking midfielder Lucas Rodrigues Moura da Silva believes he still has a bright future with the Brazil national team despite being dropped at the last minute by the five-time world champions for their 2014 World Cup campaign.
Better known as Lucas, the promising 21-year-old was on a seven-player reserve list for Brazil, but was never called up by then-coach Luis Scolari during the competition. Scolari has been replaced by former Brazil captain Dunga.
"I am always ready for the national team as long as the new coach wants to picks me," said Lucas, who is in Hong Kong for their preseason friendly against Hong Kong champions Kitchee on Tuesday.
"In fact, I have been with the national team for the last three years and I always consider myself part of the team. When they lost to Germany in the semi-finals, I was very upset.
"Failing to make it to the 2014 World Cup squad was of course disappointing, but I am still very young and there are plenty of chances for me in the future. The only thing I can do is to keep working hard and wait for the national team call-up when it comes. Born in Sao Paulo, Lucas came through the ranks, playing most of the junior level competitions for his country, along with another rising star Neymar, who is six months older, before making his senior debut in 2011.
Despite his age, Lucas has already made 31 senior appearances for Brazil, including the 2011 Copa America, the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2013 Confederations Cup when Brazil captured the trophy.
He felt extremely sorry when his good companion, Neymar, was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after sustaining a back injury during the quarter-finals against Columbia.
"We know each other very well since the younger playing days," said Lucas. "I telephoned him after knowing his World Cup campaign was over and wished him well. But since the tournament was still going on, we did not talk too much about the team's performance."
Lucas, however, remains upbeat about Brazil's future despite their humiliating 7-1 defeat by Germany in the World Cup semi-finals.
"We have a bunch of talented young players and given time, we can certainly make progress," he said. "The Germans are all very experienced and work well as a unit. They have every reason to lift the World Cup."
After making his name known in Sao Paulo, Lucas attracted a number of top teams from Europe, including Manchester United but in the end, he chose the French capital team for a reported fee in the region of €45 million (HK$468 million).
"I love the city of Paris," he said. "But of course it is also because Paris Saint-Germain have a strong financial background and are willing to invest in its players. Already, there are a number Brazilians there and they can help develop my game to a higher level."
Lucas said there was no pressure for him despite his high price tag. "The transfer market has been stirred up and there are more and more expensive players," he said. Having helped Paris Saint-Germain clinch the French Ligue 1 trophy over the last two seasons, Lucas is now vying for Champions League glory.