Ronaldinho receives Brazil call-up
Ronaldinho is back in the Brazil squad for this month’s friendly against Chile in Belo Horizonte.
It is the second time in a row that coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has called up Ronaldinho. The former two-time world player or the year had been dropped for friendlies against Italy and Russia earlier this year, but set up three goals in Brazil’s 4-0 win over Bolivia on April 6 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
Scolari picked only players from Brazilian clubs on Tuesday, including Neymar, Alexandre Pato and Leandro Damiao. Most played against Bolivia.
”We played better than expected against Bolivia and hopefully this team can have another good performance against Chile,” said Scolari, who returned to the national team in December after leading Brazil to the World Cup title in 2002 in South Korea and Japan.
Brazil will play Chile at the renovated Mineirao Stadium on April 24.
It was Scolari’s final list before he picks the squad for the Confederations Cup, the World Cup warm-up tournament Brazil will host from June 15-30.
Players from the Confederations Cup squad will face England on June 2 at the new Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, and then France on June 9 at the Arena Gremio in Porto Alegre.
For the match against Bolivia, Scolari called up four players from Brazil’s Under-20 squad which was eliminated in the first round of the South American championship. This time he preferred to pick more experienced players.
”This will give us more options to observe players,” Scolari said. ”It’s a final test to establish our style and to look at two or three players ahead of the Confederations Cup. After this match, I’ll have to decide on those who I’ll be able to count on during the competition.”
Former Barcelona defender Henrique, now with Palmeiras, was among those added to the 18-player squad for the friendly against Chile.
”I’m glad to be back with the national team, it was one of my main goals when I decided to return to Brazil and to Palmeiras,” he said.
Goalkeepers: Diego Cavalieri (Fluminense), Jefferson (Botafogo).
Defenders: Marcos Rocha (Atletico Mineiro), Andre Santos (Gremio), Rever (Atletico Mineiro), Henrique (Palmeiras), Dede (Vasco).
Midfielders: Jean (Fluminense), Fernando (Gremio), Ralf (Corinthians), Paulinho (Corinthians), Jadson (Sao Paulo), Ronaldinho (Atletico Mineiro).
Forwards: Neymar (Santos), Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Leandro (Palmeiras), Alexandro Pato (Corinthians), Osvaldo (Sao Paulo).