Augsburg attacking midfielder Caiuby is convinced his clubmate Philipp Max should be Germany’s first-choice left-back ahead of Jonas Hector and Marvin Plattenhardt; but with him or not, he thinks Die Nationalmannschaft will have their work cut out against his native Brazil in Russia this summer…

Max is as yet uncapped by Germany coach Joachim Löw, but with a Bundesliga-high 10 assists to his name already this season – four of which have created goals for Caiuby – the 29-year-old Brazilian says his friend and colleague should be on the plane to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup this summer.

Watch: The first nine of Max's 10 assists this season!

“We’ve already joked together that we form the best left side in the Bundesliga!” Caiuby told in an exclusive interview. “But seriously, he’s on an incredibly good path. I don’t think there is a better left-back in Germany. If he keeps playing like this, he should be chosen for the national team.”

Caiuby is enjoying something of a late career resurgence, with his five goals and three assists helping unfancied Augsburg climb into an unexpected race for Europe. Although compatriots such as Naldo at Schalke have been tipped for international recalls in the autumns of their careers, Caiuby is rather more agnostic about his own chances of making the World Cup.

“I’m 29 now, so the Selecao isn’t really something I should be thinking about,” continued the former Wolfsburg, Duisburg and Ingolstadt man, who has the likes of Neymar and Philipp Coutinho for competition in the Brazil squad. “I believe that coach Tite has his squad largely together. But you can’t say 100 percent what will happen in football. Maybe I’ll score 20 goals in the second half of the season and he won’t be able to overlook me!”

Germany's 7-1 drubbing of Brazil reduced Selecao captain David Luiz to tears in 2014. © gettyimages / Laurence Griffiths

Whether or not Caiuby and Max line up on opposite sides next summer, Caiuby is confident Brazil can avenge the 7-1 defeat inflicted upon them by Germany in the semi-finals of the competition four years ago, which Germany ultimately won.

“It took a long time for everyone to process that,” concluded the afro-haired crowd favourite. “The fun of football seems to be back; the coach has the team under control. I’m very happy watching them again. And I’m convinced Brazil will be one of the big candidates to lift the trophy.”

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