He has not played a competitive fixture for the Selecao since their 0-2 defeat of Peru in Lima in November 2016.

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Brazilian midfielder Lima ‘closer’ to World Cup 

Brazilian midfielder Lima ‘closer’ to World Cup

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 4: Lucas Lima said his move to Palmeiras will improve his chances of a recall to Brazil’s national team ahead of this year’s World Cup.

Lima fronted the media for the first time since joining the Sao Paulo club from rivals Santos on a five-year contract last month, reports Xinhua news agency.

“I know it was the right move and I’m very happy,” the 27-year-old said on Wednesday.

“It’s a World Cup year and I think coming to Palmeiras will bring me closer to (the World Cup). But irrespective of what I do individually, I think that winning titles can also help my chances,” he added.

The last of Lima’s 14 appearances for Brazil came almost a year ago in the team’s 1-0 friendly victory over Colombia at the Maracana stadium.

He has not played a competitive fixture for the Selecao since their 0-2 defeat of Peru in Lima in November 2016.

Lima insists that his allegiance is now with Palmeiras despite their traditional antagonism with Santos.

“My heart is now green. I came to Palmeiras for the club, for the fans, to play in front of a packed stadium, to be happy and to win titles,” he said.

“Some people might still doubt me but I hope to convince them with my form on the pitch,” he added.

The 2018 World Cup will be played in 11 Russian cities from June 14 to July 15.

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