Left-back Alex Telles has admitted that he left Manchester United over the summer with the upcoming FIFA World Cup in mind.
The 29-year-old joined Sevilla on a season-long loan deal this summer in search of first-team football after just two seasons at Old Trafford. Telles made 50 appearances for the Red Devils since joining from Porto but his time was affected by injury problems.
The Brazil international would have been reduced to third-choice left-back after the summer arrival of Dutch youngster Tyrell Malacia at Manchester United.
Telles has since started just one of Sevilla's four La Liga encounters so far, but did play during their 4-0 Champions League defeat to Manchester City.
Speaking to Brazilian outlet TNT Sports, the Manchester United loanee confirmed that he is keen to play first-team football in order to play in the FIFA World Cup. He stated (as per Sport Witness):
“Obviously. If I say no, I’ll be lying. I really believe in preparation. We know how much an athlete needs to prepare for a moment like this. I know I’m on the radar, I know I was called for the last call-ups. So obviously having more and more minutes, playing as much as possible."
“So I’m exclusively focused on that preparation. I know it depends a lot on what I do at my club for me to be willing and always at a high level, so if I get called up for the national team, to be prepared.”
Manchester United star hopeful of being part of Brazil's FIFA World Cup success
Telles currently has six caps to his name but the competition for Brazil's left-back spot is fierce. Juventus star Alex Sandro is arguably first-choice, but Guilherme Arana of Atletico Minero has been given a shot in recent times.
Brazil manager Tite appears unsure of what his best team is just months before the FIFA World Cup. He only has two more friendlies before the tournament begins.
They play Ghana and Tunisia later this month, before attempting to claim their sixth World Cup in Qatar. The Samba Boys have not won football's biggest international tournament since 2002, which was also the last time a non-European nation became world champions.
Brazil are one of the favorites for the Middle Eastern tournament, which will expose players to sweltering conditions. They will take on Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon in their group stage encounters. They will be hoping to improve upon their quarter-final finish four years ago in Russia, where they were eliminated by Belgium.