A utility player combining physical strength, explosive power, no little talent and the ability to use either foot, Hernanes was dogged by one question for several years, as onlookers debated whether he was an attacking or deep-lying midfielder.
It is to his credit that that the long-running discussion was rendered largely meaningless by his consistently good performances over the years for Sao Paulo and Lazio. Nevertheless, this last season has finally brought an end to the debate, with the midfielder’s displays for the Roman club convincing their coaching staff that he was better suited to a more withdrawn, holding role.
“It is my original position,” he told FIFA.com. “It’s been important for me to play in different positions. It’s improved my game and my ability to adapt and score more goals. I’ve enjoyed the experience and I think that’s why I’m in such great form. I also think, though, that I’ve experienced everything I can and that I’ve played where I’ve had to play.”
And it is as a holding midfielder that he has made his way into Luiz Felipe Scolari’s squad, as the coach himself explained in his first press conference after taking on the Brazil job, bringing an end to the Hernanes debate once and for all.