Brazil's Bressan ready to play for Belarus

Reuters

Thu, 20 Oct 12:10:00 2011

BATE Borisov's Brazilian playmaker Renan Bressan said he would jump at the chance to play for Belarus if he was selected next year.

The 22-year-old, top scorer in the Belarus Premier League last season, will complete five years in the country in December, making him eligible for the national side under FIFA rules.

"I would play, why not?" Bressan told Reuters after his side lost 2-0 to AC Milan in the Champions League at San Siro on Wednesday.

"I know it's the dream of every player to represent Brazil but they already have a lot of players and to play for the (Belarus) national team could help my career.

"Belarus welcomed me with open arms and so I would be delighted to represent the country," added Bressan, who already has citizenship.

Hundreds of Brazilian players have moved to Eastern Europe in the last few years and the story has ended in tears for many who were unable to adapt.

Stories abound of players who failed to learn the language, could not withstand the cold, missed life on the beach or longed for their diet of steak, black beans and rice.

Bressan is a relatively rare success story.

One of only two Brazilians in a club squad made up almost entirely of Belarus players, he speaks fluent Russian and regards playing in temperatures of minus 15 Celsius as a minor inconvenience.

FAMILY HELP

"I really wanted to play in Europe," he said. "I had lots of difficulties with the cold, the food, the language but I was strong and my family helped me.

"I have been there five years and everything is fine. Of course, it was difficult at first but you have to learn to cope.

"It's a bit cold, I miss the beach a bit and Brazilian food but what can I do? It's life."

Bressan, who has never played for a top club in Brazil, impressed a Ukrainian agent in a trial match organised in Brazil when he was a teenager and was eventually sold to Gomel, another Belarus club.

He spent three seasons there before joining BATE last season.

Some of his friends were astounded, he said, but he saw it as preferable to chancing his luck with thousands of other players for a place at a Brazilian club.

"Brazil is complicated, there's lots of competition, lots of players, it's difficult to get a place in a top team and on top of that, there are clubs who don't pay.

"When I came to Belarus, everything worked out, my wages were paid on time. Of course, I still have a dream of playing there one day."

The thought of playing against Brazil in an international does not worry him. "I would play, a lot of players do it," he said. "It's a normal situation. I would play without problems."

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