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Fernandinho on a mission as City’s

Manchester City’s new £30million signing Fernandinho once resorted to barbecuing in his garage during his stint at Shakhtar Donetsk because he missed the sunshine of Brazil so much. So he has no fears about English football, having endured eight Ukrainian winters.

The attacking midfielder is key to Manuel Pellegrini’s vision of City’s new playing style and attempt to win back the title. He relishes the chance to shine in one of Europe’s major leagues after his success in Donetsk, which saw him win six league titles, four Ukrainian Cup finals and the old UEFA Cup.

But having moved there at 20 from his home state of Parana, he suffered severe culture shock – notably from the weather.

Up for it: Fernandinho jumps over hurdles during training

Up for it: Fernandinho jumps over hurdles during training

Fernandinho said: ‘I love eating meat from a barbecue and it was so long that I hadn’t had one, I decided to buy an electric grill. But it was so cold I couldn’t do it outside. I moved the cars out of the garage, put the central heating on. It was nice actually.’

Though Juninho and Gilberto Silva were both unqualified successes in the Premier League and of late, Julio Cesar, David Luiz, Ramires, Oscar, Rafael and Sandro have shone, the world’s leading football nation has been under-represented in England. And City are still scarred by the failure of Robinho, the first  high-profile signing of the Sheik Mansour regime.

But Fernandinho, 28, aims to enhance the reputation of Brazilians abroad. ‘I want to change the perception that people have over here about the way Brazilians play,’ he said.

‘English teams are fearful about signing players straight from Brazil because of the different style of play, and the belief that maybe Brazilians are not well suited to the Premier League. I can only speak on a personal level, and I believe the way I play will suit the English style.

‘I came here to win. Of course, I will be paid as a professional footballer, but the only thing I am greedy for is success. In my country we say that football is like a huge plate of food – well, I want to eat everything because I want to win every trophy that I can for City.’



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