Kaka back in Brazil squad but Ronaldinho left out
SAO PAULO (AP)
Kaka has been brought back for Brazil friendlies against Italy and Russia this month, but Ronaldinho was left out.
Kaka wasn't chosen in coach Luiz Felipe Scolari's first squad this year but the Real Madrid playmaker made the list on Tuesday. Ronaldinho, however, was left out after a disappointing performance in Brazil's 2-1 loss to England in February.
Scolari kept in the squad promising stars Neymar, Oscar and Lucas, as well as veteran goalkeeper Julio Cesar. Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa made the team for the first time.
Brazil will play Italy in Geneva on March 21 and Russia four days later at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge in London. Brazil will have only one other match - a friendly against Chile in April - before it hosts the Confederations Cup from June 15-30.
Scolari, who replaced Mano Menezes late last year, said he picked Kaka to have a chance to observe the 30-year-old up close in the next two matches. He said Ronaldinho will also likely have another chance against Chile, then he will make a decision on whether to keep them.
''I'm giving the players the same opportunities, they'll have one or two matches to play and then I'll make a decision,'' Scolari said. ''I don't know if they will be back in the future or not. I'll use these four matches that I have to observe the players and then I'll decide what to do for the Confederations Cup.''
Ronaldinho, who was in Scolari's squad when Brazil won the 2002 World Cup, had a lackluster performance against England, even missing a penalty kick in the first half. Kaka, a starter at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, has been playing sparingly with Real Madrid.
The match against England was Scolari's first in charge since his return.
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Queens Park Rangers), Diego Cavalieri (Fluminense).
Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Filipe Luis (Atletico de Madrid), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dede (Vasco da Gama), Dante (Bayern Munich), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain).
Midfielder: Paulinho (Corinthians), Ramires (Chelsea), Jean (Fluminense), Fernando (Gremio), Luiz Gustavo (Bayern Munich), Kaka (Real Madrid), Hernanes (Lazio), Oscar (Chelsea), Lucas (Paris Saint-Germain).
Forwards: Diego Costa (Atletico de Madrid), Neymar (Santos), Fred (Fluminense), Hulk (Zenit).
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