x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Hat-trick for Wolves rekindles Grafite's Brazil hopes

Wolfsburg striker Grafite hopes a hat-trick on his Champions League debut will earn him a call-up to the Brazilian national team.

Wolfsburg striker Grafite hopes a hat-trick on his Champions League debut will earn him a call-up to the Brazilian national team. Grafite, 30, put in a brilliant performance as the German champions beat CSKA Moscow 3-1 in their opening group game on Tuesday night. "That's my goal and that's what I am working for," said the striker after being asked about international recognition. "I am hoping to play in the World Cup. There are a few more games before the World Cup and I want to be part of [Brazil's] team."

Grafite has only one cap to his name which he earned in 2005. For Wolfsburg, the win in their first Champions League game was a refreshing change after a run of three consecutive domestic defeats. "It was a special night, an unforgettable night, but we must keep our feet on the ground," said Grafite, no doubt reminded that their next group match is away to Manchester United. "We felt that we had to give more than we had done in recent matches. We knew that the Champions League is on another level.

"I think that we showed the same spirit as last season. "It was difficult for us as it was our first match in the Champions League, but I think that we played well. Now we have to focus on the Bundesliga." Wolfsburg's next league game is tomorrow against Schalke and former coach Felix Magath, who left after guiding the Wolves to the championship last term. In Group A, Bayern Munich enjoyed an easy 3-0 win against Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa, with Thomas Muller scoring twice in the second half.

* With agencies