Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Ronaldinho on Brazil roster for friendly
SAO PAULO -- Ronaldinho has been included in Brazil's 23-man roster for a Feb. 28 exhibition against Bosnia at St. Gallen, Switzerland, while Kaka and Robinho again were left out.
Santos players Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso, touted as the future of Brazilian soccer, also were selected.
Brazil coach Mano Menezes said Tuesday that Ronaldinho's poor performances recently did not give him enough reason to omit the two-time FIFA player of the year.
"Ronaldinho is part of a project," Menezes said. "I can't start making changes just because of his bad moment right now."
Ronaldinho returned to the Brazilian squad late in 2010 after being left off the World Cup roster. The coach hinted he was expecting more from Kaka's recent performances with Real Madrid.
"Maybe I didn't see something that I was expecting to see from him," Menezes said.
Robinho also didn't get another chance despite being a constant name in the squad when Menezes took over after the World Cup. Robinho's AC Milan teammate Alexandre Pato, coming off an injury, also was not selected.
Eight of the players called up for the friendly are young enough to play in the Olympics, the only major soccer competition Brazil has never won: Neymar, Alex Sandro, Danilo, Rafael, Lucas, Sandro, Ganso and Leandro Damiao.
Santos goalkeeper Rafael is the only newcomer.
Brazil will play Denmark in Germany in May, then will tour the United States to play the hosts on May 30 at Landover Md., Mexico on June 3 at Arlington, Texas, and South American rival Argentina on June 9 at East Rutherford, N.J.
Goalkeepers: Diego Alves (Valencia), Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Rafael (Santos).
Defenders: Adriano (Barcelona), Alex Sandro (Porto), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Danilo (Porto), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dede (Vasco da Gama), Luisao (Benfica), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (AC Milan).
Midfielders: Elias (Sporting Lisbon), Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine), Paulo Henrique Ganso (Santos), Hernanes (Lazio), Lucas (Sao Paulo), Sandro (Tottenham), Ronaldinho (Flamengo).
Forwards: Hulk (Porto), Jonas (Valencia), Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Neymar (Santos).