It has been announced that FC Bayern München center back Dante has finally been rewarded for his excellent performances over the last several years with his first national team callup for Brazil. The Brazilian received his callup from recently appointed national team Coach Felipe Scolari, who led the Seleção to their last World Cup triumph in 2002. The Brazilians will face England on February 6 in a friendly at Wembley Stadium.
Dante, the Bayern defender who has been such an integral part of the Bavarian’s success this fall, received his first callup to the Brazilian national team. The 29 year-old for his excellent performance in the Bundesliga over the past three seasons, first with Borussia Monchengladbach and now with the iconic Bayern squad which he joined on a transfer this past summer.
Dante has featured in 111 Bundesliga matches since joining Gladbach from Standard Liege in 2009. One testament to his quality of play is the fact that he is the only player, besides goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who has been on the pitch every minute thus far in Bayern’s dominant 2012/2013 Bundesliga campaign despite Coach Jupp Heynckes’ preference for rotating the players on his deep and talented squad. Thus far this season the talented Brazilian has completed 92.3 % of the 1128 passes he’s attempted, while winning 61% of his tackles and 55.8% of his aerial challenges as the Bavarians have allowed a miserly seven goals in league play, the least amount not only in the Bundesliga but of any club in the big five European domestic leagues (PSG is the second stingiest club, allowing 12 goals so far in league play). What is most amazing about Dante’s high passing percentage is that, unlike many defenders, Dante’s completion percentage includes many accurate and searching balls upfield that create opportunities for Bayern in attack.
The 6’2″ native of Salvador de Bahia, began his professional career with Brazilian side Juventude in 2002 before moving to Europe with French side Lille in 2004. Dante is a very popular player in Germany, not only because of his outstanding level of play and commitment but also because of his upbeat attitude and outsized Afro hairstyle.