FABIO AURELIO is winning his battle to be fit to return to action on Monday - and to take his place in the Brazil squad for the first time.
Aurelio, who is in the last year of his current contract, has missed Liverpool's last two games against Fulham and Lyon with a calf problem.
His form before that, though, had been good enough to catch the eye of Brazil coach Dunga, who will take Aurelio and Reds midfielder Lucas to Qatar for next Saturday's friendly with England.
Benitez is thrilled Aurelio's consistency has been recognised and has confirmed talks are planned with the 30-year-old about extending his stay at Anfield.
First, however, the Liverpool boss wants to see Aurelio up and running again and hopes the Anfield clash against Birmingham will provide an ideal opportunity.
'We are really happy for Fabio to have received the call up because he it is a fantastic opportunity for him,' said Benitez.
'We are not so happy that the game is in Qatar but there you go! I think he is a very good player, a really nice person to have around the club and very professional.