Bernardo wants to strike gold with Albion.

The more he plays, the more he believes he will have a chance of wearing the famous gold shirt of Brazil.

Bernardo joined Albion from Red Bull Leipzig in the Bundesliga in the summer to test himself at an even higher level.

He has overcome a couple of setbacks and his desire to play for his country still burns bright.

He told the Argus: "Every player has ambitions and I think the biggest achievement I could have in my career is to play for the national team.

"But I have to be patient. It's probably the most difficult national team to get into.

"On a positive perspective, there are not many left-backs of my age playing at the level I am that have the experience I have, Champions League, Bundesliga, Premier League, but I know it's a long process because it's not easy.

"I'll keep working and try to develop because to be there you have to be on top form. At the right time I think I'll get my chance."

Bernardo's dad, now his agent, played five times for Brazil and for Bayern Munich.

His prospects of following in his father's footsteps have suffered two blows.

A difficult Premier League debut at Watford on the opening day of the season left Bernardo waiting until October for another chance.

The Argus: Then a hamstring injury sustained at West Ham (above) in the first match of 2019 kept him on the sidelines again and out of the limelight back at home.

He said: "When I have a sequence of matches there is a bigger effect. There hasn't been much impact this season because I played, stopped, now I am playing again.

"But all of the matches are broadcast in Brazil, everyone watches the Premier League, so the more I play the more I am in the hype.

"Next season, for example, if I start playing and finish playing, it will have a bigger impact."

Bernardo has dreamt of playing for his country since he was a boy, sneaking into matches to watch his home club Sao Paulo.

He said: "In Brazil the clubs are not just football clubs, you have also swimming pools and basketball teams.

"I was a member of the club Sao Paulo. Me and my friends found a door that would get us from the swimming pool straight to the stadium.

"We found a way to break the hand lock and get into the stadium. Every single match, we were like 20, 30 kids getting into the stadium and watching the game for free.

"One day we had the idea to create a group of fans and it lasted for three matches. Me and my friends created our own fan club.

"We didn't get caught but they were aware. They were like, 'Why are these kids always here and always in a group together?' know at the end they changed the hand lock."

The door has been unlocked for Bernardo to play at Wembley against Manchester City in the semi-finals of the FA Cup next month.

He was restored to the Premier League line-up by Chris Hughton at the expense of Gaetan Bong for back-to-back wins against Huddersfield (below) and Crystal Palace after helping Albion reach the quarter-finals by beating Bournemouth, West Brom in a replay and Derby County.

The Argus: He was retained for the dramatic win at Millwall on penalties as Hughton named the strongest side available to him.

Bernardo, who reaches 24 four days before the FA Cup final on May 18, said: I was always a football fan and Wembley is one of the big stages.

"It is a place where every single player wants to play – Wembley, the Maracana, the San Siro. Those are legendary stadiums where every single player wants to have the chance to play. With me, it is no different.

"I went to watch an England friendly there last year and I also went to watch the NFL season game that was at Wembley. I went twice and it is a really amazing stadium."