Scolari: Paulinho hat-trick proof of CSL quality

Luiz Felipe Scolari said the hat-trick scored by Paulinho in Brazil’s 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Uruguay on Thursday is proof that moving to China does not spell the end of a player’s international career.

The Guangzhou Evergrande player was one of three China-based players in the squad as Brazil took control of qualifying on the road to the Russia 2018 World Cup, moving seven points clear at the top.

The defeat was Uruguay’s first reverse at home in 15 qualifiers.

Paulinho joined Evergrande more than two years ago from Tottenham Hotspur and has since worked his way into Tite’s squad.

“There are two reasons why I’m happy tonight,” Scolari said. “One is that China won the match against South Korea and the other is that Paulinho scored a hat trick for the Brazil national team.

“Paulinho was not in the national squad, but he fought his way back. That is why I am very proud of the Chinese Super League. You see Paulinho, Renato Augusto and Gil have all got back into the national team.”

“So it is wrong to say that the CSL is for players who have come to the end of their career. The CSL has showed it is competitive and it is able to give players the chance to play for their country again.”