FABRICIO Coloccini’s been told he can achieve his international ambitions at Newcastle United.
The Argentina defender capped a return to form for his club by coming off the bench for his country.
And Coloccini – who agreed to stay at Newcastle until at least the summer after talks over his future last month – is looking to help his country qualify for next year’s World Cup finals, which are being staged in Brazil.
The 31-year-old, a late substitute in Wednesday night’s 3-2 friendly win over Sweden, hasn’t featured regularly for Argentina during his time at United.
But that can all change on the road to Rio de Janeiro, according to United manager Alan Pardew.
“I think he’s very, very happy to be part of that group again with the World Cup coming up,” Pardew said.
“He’ll have a terrific chance of making the side.
“He missed out on the last international through injury, and that probably cost him his place.”
However, Pardew – who had eight senior players away this week – was relieved his skipper only played a cameo role in Stockholm ahead of this afternoon’s Premier League game at Tottenham Hotspur.
“I’d rather he played three minutes than 90, but I’m sure Colo wouldn’t say that,” he added.
Coloccini told the club he wanted to return to Argentina over a personal issue, but the defender – who signed a four-year contract last season – wasn’t allowed to leave.
And his situation will be reviewed again in the summer.
After committing himself to United, Coloccini – whose form has dipped this season – went on to help the relegation-threatened club to Premier League victories over Chelsea and Aston Villa.