Fernandes wants to play for Russian football team
Moscow, July 14 (IANS) Brazilian footballer Mario Fernandes who now holds a Russian passport wants to play for the Russian national team and will do everything he can to be useful to the country.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree granting the Russian citizenship to Fernandes, reports Tass.
"I am proud of becoming Russian," the 25-year-old player said. "Russia became my second home after I had joined CSKA FC. I want to play for this country's national team and I will do everything I can to be useful to the club and to the state," he added.
However, Fernandes, who applied for a Russian passport in May this year, is not going to renounce his Brazilian citizenship.
"Everything is okay, I am going to hold dual citizenship, both Russian and Brazilian," Fernandes told TASS earlier.
Fernandes joined CSKA FC in May 2012. In October 2014, he played his first and so far the only match for the Brazilian national team -- a friendly against Japan (4-0).
The Brazilian has played 128 matches for CSKA FC having scored twice. Together with CSKA FC, Fernandes won three Russian national championships (2012/13, 2013/14, 2015/16); and is the holder of the 2012-13 Russian Cup and the 2014 Russian Super Cup.