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Dante set for Brazil debut at Wembley

Bayern Munich’s 29-year-old defender Dante is set to win his first cap for Brazil in a friendly against England at Wembley on Wednesday reports Mark Lovell.

Brazil’s new and old coach Luiz Felipe Scolari (lovingly known as Big Phil) had no hesitation in calling up the Bayern defensive lynchpin to his revamped squad. With regular centre half Thiago Silva of PSG currently out injured, Dante travels to London on Monday with high hopes of a first start for the Seleção (Brazil national team).

Scolari, a World Cup winning coach against Germany in 2002, is back in charge of the ‘Boys from Brazil’ for a second spell after replacing Mano Menezes. The ex-Chelsea manager quickly needs to instil a feel-good factor in the Brazilian national squad ahead of the fast approaching 2014 World Cup on home soil.

Dante joined Bayern in the summer from Borussia Mönchengladbach for a bargain fee of €5m. He has been an ever-present this Bundesliga campaign and has quickly established himself as an integral part of Bayern’s parsimonious backline. Dante is arguably the Bavarians’ stand-out defender this season, compensating for the serious injury of Holger Badstuber.

After the record German champions’ comfortable away win in the carnival city of Mainz on Saturday, Dante immediately turned his attentions to the mouth-watering prospect of a Brazil debut at Wembley, the ‘home of football’.

“Now, I just want to concentrate on the Seleção,” explained Dante. “I am very happy to have this opportunity and hope to get the chance to play. I am the only newcomer to the squad, so it’s going to be difficult to earn the coach’s trust right away.”

Despite the match’s billing as a mere friendly, Dante says he cannot wait for the game and is keen to impress the new boss. “England against Brazil, this is a classic of the world game,” he beamed.

Away from Dante’s potential debut, there is likely to be more media scrutiny on the returning Ronaldinho. The two-time World Player of the Year has also been called back into Big Phil’s star-studded squad for this glamorous fixture, kicking off the English Football Association’s (FA) 150th anniversary celebrations.

Dante flies to London on Monday to meet up with the rest of the squad and could form a potentially formidable ‘afro partnership’ with Chelsea’s David Luiz in the heart of the Seleção defence.

“That would be cool,” Dante joked. “Though he is blonder than me.”

On the subject of eye-catching hairstyles, Dante may have to mark someone with his very own hair history. In-form England striker Wayne Rooney famously underwent hair transplant surgery in 2011. ‘Roo’ will soon realise, like the rest of the millions watching around the world, that there is much more substance to Dante than just a frizzy ‘fro.

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