Popular Brazilian Daniel may be leaving the Wellington Phoenix but his dream of playing for New Zealand is still alive.
Phoenix General Manager David Dome confirmed today that Daniel, who is off contract after five seasons with the club, will not be re-signed for the 2012-13 Hyundai A League competition.
While his family have already returned to Brazil Daniel, who is still considering the next stage of his club career, has stayed in Wellington to complete the necessary residency requirements that will make him eligible for the All Whites.
“When my family left I had to stay another 10 days to complete my five years,” Daniel said today.
“The five years is up on May 14 and what was 10 days after being here for five years?
“I-ve spoken to New Zealand Football and they told me FIFA have approved my application (to be eligible for the All Whites) which is fantastic.
“Now it is up to Ricki (Herbert, All Whites coach) whether I am picked to play but the main thing is I will be available.”
Daniel said A-League side Melbourne Heart and a Singapore club had approached him about his future but he was in no hurry to make a decision.
“Heart, where John Aloisi has taken over as coach, have asked if I am interested and I am sure we will talk some more,” he said.
“But the main thing is that I will soon be available for the All Whites and I think I would be able to play against El Salvador and Honduras later this month if Ricki wants me.
“I have loved my time in Wellington and have had five fantastic years. It will be very tough to leave but hopefully I will be able to keep my New Zealand links through the All Whites.”
A real fans favourite, Daniel Lins Cortes, to give him his full name, made his 100th appearance for the Wellington Phoenix in January this year against the Newcastle Jets, and went on to play 106 games for the club.