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Fonte dreams of international call
José Fonte has not given up hope of earning a first call-up to the Portugal team – and insists he will be the proudest man in his country if he is ever selected.
The centre-back’s role in Saints’ magnificent start to the season has sparked questions about the possibility of international recognition for him.
Fonte, 29, has been capped at under-21 level by his country, but has never made it into the senior team.
He is hoping that might be about to change, however.
“I am not going to lie, playing in the Premier League and doing well can only get me closer,” he said.
“I am going to be trying my hardest to be there and there is no denying that I hope I can be noticed and people will see the work I have been doing. “If the call comes, I will be the proudest man in Portugal.”
Portugal face a play-off with Sweden next month for a place in the 2014 World Cup.
The prospect of featuring in that tournament will surely not have escaped Fonte, who is keen to catch the eye of his country’s manager, Paulo Bento.
Asked if he had received any indication of a possible selection, Fonte said: “There has been a lot of talk, and many people are questioning why I am not in the squad.
“But, at the end of the day, it is the manager’s decision and he has a lot of great players and great centre backs at his disposal, so I need to wait for my chance and keep working and doing well. “Hopefully he can notice me and give me a chance.”
Fonte’s next chance to impress will be this evening, when Saints face Fulham, whose attack is spearheaded by the former Tottenham and Manchester United striker, Dimitar Berbatov.
“He speaks for himself, he has had a great career and is a very dangerous player,” said Fonte, of the Bulgarian.
“He can seem like he is not in the game, but then brings his talent and his quality and hurts you. We need to be 100 per cent focused, not only on him, but all the great players they have.
“It will be a hard task and we want to keep our eyes not only on Berbatov, but on everyone else as well.”
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