Eintracht Braunschweig defender Marcel Correia has picked up his first cap for Portugal in a 3-0 friendly win vs Argentina.
Correia gets first Portugal cap
Correia held a Portuguese passport, although he was in fact born in Kaiserslautern. Nils Texeira, a full back playing for 1860 Munchen, was also on the bench, despite being born in the former capital of West Germany, Bonn, but he did not get out onto the pitch.
Correia came on as a 78th minute substitute.
Portugal took the lead just 8 minutes in, through Cristiano Ronaldo who drilled a low efort underneath Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero. Despite their dominance, Argentina did not score until the second half, and late on in the first, Argentina's left back Emiliano Insua was sent off for a two footed lunge on Joao Mouthino. After 56 minutes, Fabio Coentrao volleyed home a fantastic lobbed pass from Nélson Oliveira on the counter, and on 78 minutes Oliveira scored himself, catching Sergio Romero out of place after being put through in yet another of Portugal's counterattacks. Correia was called into action and off the bench after the 3rd goal and did well to protect his side's lead.
Correia has been in top form this season for Braunschweig. The former Kaiserslautern defender, who was signed by Braunschweig in 2011, has played 21 of Braunschweig's 28 Bundesliga games this season. The club sit in 8th spot in the table, though had not won in their 9 Bundesliga games until defeating Werder Bremen 3-2, acquiring just 3 points, all draws. However, Braunschweig have not conceded more than twice in one game during this lean spell, meaning that overall they have just conceded 30 in 28 games, though have only scored 28.
Correia was delighted after making his first international appearance.
"Obviously I'm delighted to have my first cap for my country, I didn't expect it at all, so when the call came it was just: wow. I want to thank Torsten Lieberknecht, for bringing me to Braunschweig, I want to thank Benno [Mohlmann], the Braunschweig coach, he's doing a great job, and of course, Paulo Bento, for believing I have what it takes to represent my nation."
Bento was more subtle when praising Correia after the match.
"I knew that the time was right for Correia to play for Portugal. I know he was released by Kaiserslautern when he was younger, and when a player has been through something hard you know when they get to the top they don't let go. I'm confident that Marcel is good enough and he played well enough there to justify his place in the squad. We'll just have to see how he plays for Braunschweig until we decide who to pick for our upcoming European Championship Qualifiers. I know we can win our group, too, and maybe we just need a little extra help from Marcel and Nils [Texeira].