In just over a week's time, Brazil will open their Copa America 2015 campaign. First up, Dunga's men will take on Peru, before facing a Columbia side including Falcao and James, and finally Venezuela. In the Brazilian ranks, Fabinho is all set for his first experience of a major international tournament.
Two seasons in the making
The youngster has come a long way since arriving at AS Monaco discreetly in the summer of 2013! No sooner had he put pen to paper on his contract, than he had linked up with the first team on their pre-season training camp in Austria. A quiet character, but always alert to what's going on around him, the specialist right-back slotted in seamlessly, both on and off the pitch. Nearly two years later, he speaks excellent French, but it's his game that's really impressed.
53 matches in 2014-2015!
Fabinho enjoyed his first full season in the top flight in 2013-2014, featuring in 31 matches. He was expected to go on in the same vein, but instead did even better. With a total of 53 appearances in the red and white, he was Leonardo Jardim's most used player in 2014-2015. In addition, he showed another side to his qualities: versatility. Combined with his exemplary mentality, it convinced the club's management to make his transfer permanent, and the player is now contracted to the club until 2019.
Versatility and potential
Used on the right side of defence or in midfield, Fabinho has even bagged a couple of stunning goals, one coming in the UEFA Champions League, in the crucial game against Zenit, the other in an away win at Reims in Ligue 1. At the age of just 21, the young man shows incredible maturity, but not yet finished progressing. His first two seasons at AS Monaco are testament to his obvious potential, and his elevation to the Brazil seniors is the natural next step in his career. Something tells us it won't be long before he's more than just a substitute for the Seleçao.