RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) – Veteran defender David Luiz said on Monday he still had hopes for a return to international football after joining defending Serie A champion Flamengo on a free transfer. .
The comments came as Luiz was officially introduced to the media as a Flamengo player, less than a week after agreeing to a 16-month contract with the Rio de Janeiro squad.
“I am focused on Flamengo. The decision was made with a view to meeting all the challenges of Flamengo. We want to win titles. [but] if a player does not have the ambition to defend his country, he is on the wrong track. I have the ambition, ”said Luiz during a virtual press conference.
Selected 57 times, Luiz has not played for Brazil since his 4-0 victory over Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in June 2017.
The 34-year-old is the third top player to join Flamengo in the mid-year transfer window, following the arrivals of Andreas Pereira and Kenedy on loan from Manchester United and Chelsea, respectively.
Luiz has been without a club since parting ways with Arsenal in June. He had also been linked with Italian teams Lazio and Salernitana.
He admitted that a viral social media campaign led by Flamengo fans influenced his decision to join the club.
“It was a big factor. It was crazy to feel their support even though I was still not a Flamengo player,” said the former Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain center-back. “It got me thinking a lot and helped me make my decision.”
“I had several offers. Maybe I could have chosen a club offer [more money] but I like to do what I feel in my heart. I know I am making the right decision, ”he added.
Flamengo, who has won Brazil’s last two top-flight titles, is currently third in the top-flight standings, eight points behind leaders Atletico Mineiro but with two games down.