Lucas Back in the Picture for Brazil

Jamie McDonald

After nearly two years out of the Brazilian national team following injury and a coaching change, Lucas Leiva has been called up for the Selecao's October friendlies against South Korea and Zambia.

Having installed himself as one of the first names on Mano Menezes' teamsheet, a season ending injury while on top form and Brazil changing coaches while he sat on the sidelines recovering had put Lucas' hopes of taking part in next summer's World Cup in serious doubt.

Felipe Scolari's history of sticking with a settled lineup as much as possible left his chances looking even more bleak with the new national team manager appearing to have already decided on his likely squad—one that Lucas didn't appear all that close to being in contention for.

Today that all may have changed, with the player's World Cup hopes given new life by a call to participate a pair of friendlies against South Korea and Zambia during October's international break.

"Today the felling is [like] when I got my first call to play for Brazil," said Liverpool's defensive midfielder, adding that he is "very happy to have this opportunity to represent my country again."

It's a welcome return to the national team for Lucas after nearly two years away from international action. However, it will mean some long flights and massive timezone shifts for the 26-year-old Brazilian.

The first friendly against South Korea will be in Seoul on October 12th before Brazil travel to Beijing to face Zambia on neutral ground on the 15th.

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