Ganso, Pato named to Brazil squad
Striker Alexandre Pato and midfielder Paulo Henrique Ganso have been included in Brazil’s squad for next month’s Copa America despite injury concerns.
Coach Mano Menezes named them Tuesday among a squad of 22 players headed to Argentina. Pato had been nursing a right shoulder injury and Ganso a right thigh muscle ailment.
”I’m taking into consideration the potential of these players,” Menezes said. ”I’ve said before that Ganso is the more complete player for the position to organize the team the way I want, and there will be a lot of time for him to get ready and play well.”
Neymar, Robinho, Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Elano and Fred also will be in Brazil’s squad which will try to win the South American championship for the third straight time.
”It feels great to be back in the team for an important competition like the Copa America,” said Fred, a member of Brazil’s 2006 World Cup team.
Menezes announced his squad after Brazil’s 1-0 win over Romania on Tuesday, a match that marked Ronaldo’s farewell with the national team.
The coach, who replaced Dunga after Brazil’s elimination in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, had called up 28 players for the final two friendlies before the Copa America.
Among those who played in those friendlies but didn’t make the cut for the Copa America squad were Manchester United’s Anderson, Villarreal’s Nilmar and Flamengo’s Thiago Neves. The others left out were Fabio, Jefferson, Henrique, and Leandro Damiao.
Brazil drew the Netherlands 0-0 on Saturday, and under Menezes’ coaching, it has yet to be beat a major team, having lost to Argentina and France while recording wins over the United States, Iran, Ukraine, Scotland and now Romania.
”We are first trying to give some balance to the team,” Menezes said.
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Victor (Gremio).
Defenders: Dani Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (Inter Milan), Andre Santos (Fenerbahce), Adriano (Barcelona), Lucio (Inter Milan), David Luiz (Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Milan), Luisao (Benfica).
Midfielders: Lucas (Liverpool), Ramires (Chelsea), Sandro (Tottenham), Elias (Atletico Madrid), Lucas (Sao Paulo), Jadson (Shakhtar), Elano (Santos), Paulo Henrique Ganso (Santos).
Forwards: Alexandre Pato (Milan), Neymar (Santos), Fred (Fluminense), Robinho (Milan).
Tales Azzoni can be reached at http://twitter.com/tazzoni