Robinho in Brazil squad; Ronaldinho, Kaka out
Robinho is back in Brazil’s national squad for friendlies
against the Netherlands and Romania next month, but Ronaldinho and
Kaka were again omitted Thursday.
Brazil will host the Netherlands on June 4 in the central city
of Goiania and Romania on June 7 in Sao Paulo.
The match against Romania will mark the farewell for former
Brazil star Ronaldo, who retired from football earlier this year.
He is expected to play only a few minutes before being honored at
Alexandre Pato, young Santos sensation Neymar and Fred, a member
of the 2006 World Cup team, were also included in the list of 28
players selected by coach Mano Menezes.
The friendlies will serve as preparation for the Copa America in
July in Argentina, but Menezes said he will only pick his final
squad for the South American tournament following the match against
Menezes said Kaka is unlikely to make the Copa America squad
because he feels the midfielder still hasn’t fully recovered after
having knee surgery that kept him sidelined for several months.
”After (the Copa America) we will evaluate him again to see if
he is improving as expected,” Menezes said.
The coach said Paulo Henrique Ganso, Neymar’s teammate at
Santos, remains in his plans for the Copa America and only wasn’t
picked because of a muscle injury. The 21-year-old playmaker will
be reevaluated just before the competition.
Ronaldinho likely won’t get another chance.
He played well in his return to Brazilian football earlier this
year, but a string of recent poor performances brought jeers from
Flamengo fans. He missed the 2010 World Cup but was picked by
Menezes for the first and only time for the friendly against
Argentina last year.
Robinho missed the friendly against Scotland in London in March
because Menezes said the AC Milan striker needed to rest.
The match against the Netherlands will mark a rematch of the
2010 World Cup quarterfinals in South Africa, when Brazil was
eliminated by the Dutch.
”The friendlies will be important for our preparation for the
Copa America, but we have a recent history against the
Netherlands,” Menezes said. ”We can’t get that (World Cup) result
back, but we will want to win this one.”
Menezes said Brazil will also take the game against Romania
seriously despite Ronaldo being set to play a few minutes in the
first half as a tribute before he is replaced.
”It will be an important test and we will try to win it, too,”
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Victor (Gremio),
Jefferson (Botafogo), Fabio (Cruzeiro).
Defenders: Dani Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (Inter Milan), Andre
Santos (Fenerbahce), Adriano (Barcelona), Lucio (Inter Milan),
David Luiz (Chelsea), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), Luisao
Midfielders: Lucas (Liverpool), Ramires (Chelsea), Sandro
(Tottenham), Anderson (Manchester United), Elias (Atletico Madrid),
Lucas (Sao Paulo), Henrique (Cruzeiro), Jadson (Shakhtar), Elano
(Santos), Thiago Neves (Flamengo).
Forwards: Alexandre Pato (Milan), Nilmar (Villarreal), Neymar
(Santos), Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Fred (Fluminense),
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