Classy, understated and able to mix silk and steel
Fernandinho is the consummate midfield anchor man.
Although his main role is as a defensive midfielder, the Brazil international can also play in an advanced role and chips in with his quota of goals each season making him a threat to the opposition in both halves of the field.
Swapping Ukraine for Manchester in 2013, Fernandinho made an immediate impact, becoming a key piece of the jigsaw in the Club’s engine room and making 41 appearances as City lifted the Premier League title and Capital One Cup.
He quickly became a fans’ favourite and his move to Manchester reignited his international career that had been dormant for several years during his time in the Ukraine.
Establishing a reputation as one of Brazil’s most promising young talents during three years with Atletico Paranaense, ‘Ferna’ played a key role in his country’s World Youth Championship triumph of 2003.
Seizing the opportunity to further his career in Europe, he signed for Shakhtar Donetsk in 2005 . A world away from Brazil in distance, culture and climate, Fernandinho overcame a number of a number of hurdles to establish himself with his new club.
Somewhat off the radar in Ukraine, he remained with Shakhtar for eight years, winning 14 medals including the UEFA Cup and six Ukrainian Premier League titles, while honing his craft on the Champions League stage.
His early success with City helped Fernandinho earn a starting berth for Brazil in time for the 2014 World Cup and by 2016 he had added 21 more caps to the five he’d previously won.
Ferna was one of the first names on the team-sheet for the 2014/15 campaign and though it didn’t result in any silverware, he made 43 appearances and enjoyed yet another solid campaign.
His third season would see Ferna repeat his 2013/14 stats – 46 appearances and 5 goals – but he would be integral in helping the Blues win the Capital One Cup, scoring the opening goal against Liverpool in normal time though he missed a penalty in the ensuing shoot-out.
Ferna’s fourth season with City will be fascinating. How will new Head Coach Pep Guardiola utilise the Brazilian’s talents? Will he be employed in the holding midfield role or will he have a new position in whatever formation the Catalan decides to use?
Whatever happens, Fernandinho will no doubt go about his business seamlessly adapting to whatever is asked of him.