Lazio defender Luiz Felipe rejects Italy call for Brazil

Lazio defender Luiz Felipe has rejected a call-up to Italy's Under-21 squad saying he wants to pursue his international career with Brazil.

The 21-year-old Brazil-born player moved to Italy in 2016 and was called up by coach Luigi Di Biagio for friendlies against Austria and Croatia after recently receiving dual nationality.

"After a long period of reflection, necessary for such a delicate choice, despite being flattered to be able to wear the prestigious shirt of the Italian national team, I've decided to compete for the Selecao jersey," the defender said on Instagram.

"Football is, above all, a matter of heart and feeling, and I'm sure my decision will be understood."

Luiz Felipe has played for the last two seasons with Lazio and also scored his first goal in Italy against Bologna last December.

He had competed with Brazil's Under-20 side.

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