Robinho to play for Brazil in Chapecoense charity friendly
CHAPECO, Brazil (AP) — Veteran forward Robinho has been called back into Brazil's national team for Wednesday's friendly against Colombia—a match that will raise funds for the families of the victims of the Chapecoense team air crash.
The former Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan player has not played for Brazil since the 2015 Copa America. The 32-year-old Robinho is now at Atletico Mineiro.
Brazil coach Tite chose a squad made up of locally based players for the fundraiser match. Nineteen Chapecoense players died in the accident that killed 71 of 77 passengers as the Brazilian team traveled to Medellin to play Colombian club Atletico Nacional in the Copa Sudamericana final.
Chapecoense fans expected former goalkeeper Nivaldo, who retired after the crash, and midfielder Nenem to be called to the national team by Tite as a tribute. Instead, the coach called fitness coach Paulo Paixao, father of Anderson, who was Chapecoense's fitness coach and also died in the tragedy.
“All these players coming for this game could have a future with Brazil, that was one of the criteria,” Tite said at Brazilian football confederation headquarters.
Only 5,000 tickets have been sold for the game, which will be played at the Engenhao Stadium—the venue for last year's Olympic track competition.
The Maracana Stadium was ruled out because of a clash between its administrators.
Here is Brazil's squad in full:
GOALKEEPERS: Alex Muralha (Flamengo), Danilo Fernandes (Internacional), Weverton (Atletico Paranaense)
DEFENDERS: Fagner (Corinthians), Marcos Rocha (Atletico Mineiro), Fabio Santos (Atletico Mineiro), Jorge (Flamengo), Rodrigo Caio (Sao Paulo), Pedro Geromel (Gremio), Vitor Hugo (Palmeiras), Luan (Vasco da Gama)
MIDFIELDERS: Camilo (Botafogo), Diego (Flamengo), Henrique (Cruzeiro), Rodriguinho (Corinthians), Walace (Gremio), Willian Arao (Flamengo), Lucas Lima (Santos), Gustavo Scarpa (Fluminense)
FORWARDS: Dudu (Palmeiras), Diego Souza (Sport Recife), Luan (Gremio), Robinho (Atletico Mineiro)