When Edu was informed that Gabriel had been called up to the senior Brazil squad for the first time, he knew exactly how the defender would feel.
Our technical director represented the Selecao 15 times during his playing days, and understood the emotions that the centre back was going through when he heard the news.
“As a Brazilian I was so pleased to see Gabriel Magalhaes join the national team for the first time,” Edu told the official matchday programme. “For every Brazilian it’s a dream to wear the yellow shirt, it’s difficult to describe.
“A few days before the games, I received a phone call from the Brazil federation, telling me they were going to select him. I was so happy for him, because I know what it means to him.
“So what I did was first of all call Mikel, explain it to him and say that it would be nice for him to call Gabi to give him the news. He did that and within five minutes Gabi called me – so excited! It was so brilliant to hear his reaction, what it meant to him.
“Then I called his father, who’s back in Brazil, and explained it to him and honestly he was so happy he was almost in tears.”