Ronaldinho back in Brazil squad, Kaka left out

TALES AZZONI AP Sports Writer Published:

SAO PAULO (AP) -- Ronaldinho has been included in Brazil's squad for the friendly against Bosnia this month, while Kaka and Robinho again were left out.

Brazil coach Mano Menezes on Tuesday summoned 23 players for the match in Switzerland on Feb. 28, the team's first of the year. Ronaldinho is back despite struggling with Brazilian club Flamengo, but Kaka didn't get another chance even though he has been playing often with Real Madrid.

Santos players Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso, touted as the future of Brazilian football, also were summoned.

It is the first time since last October that Menezes had all players available for the squad. In the friendlies against Gabon and Egypt in November, he could not count on players from Brazilian clubs because the Brazilian league was in its decisive stages.

Menezes said Ronadinho's bad performances recently did not give him enough reason to remove the two-time FIFA player of the year from the squad.

"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 out of the World Cup in South Africa. He had up and down moments with Flamengo since leaving AC Milan but Menezes said he would be sticking with the player, who has said he wants to play in the London Olympics and in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

However, the coach hinted he was expecting more from Kaka's recent performances with Madrid.

"Maybe I didn't see something that I was expecting to see from him," Menezes said.

Kaka has not been summoned regularly after the 2010 World Cup because Menezes said he was waiting for the player to improve his form and play more often with Madrid.

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 summoned this time.

Eight of the players called up for the friendly are young enough to play in the Olympics, the only major football competition Brazil has never won. They are Neymar, Alex Sandro, Danilo, Rafael, Lucas, Sandro, Ganso and Leandro Damiao.

The Olympic tournament is played with under-23 squads but each team can use up to three players older than 23. Menezes said he won't name those three players until just before the tournament.

Santos goalkeeper Rafael is the only newcomer in Menezes' list. All others had been previously summoned.

Brazil will face Denmark in Germany in May, then will tour the United States to play the hosts on May 30, Mexico on June 3 and South American rival Argentina on June 9.



Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Diego Alves (Valencia), Rafael (Santos)

Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Danilo (FC Porto), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Adriano (Barcelona), Alex Sandro (FC Porto), Dede (Vasco da Gama), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), David Luiz (Chelsea), Luisao (Benfica)

Midfielders: Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk), Sandro (Tottenham), Paulo Henrique Ganso (Santos), Lucas (Sao Paulo), Elias (Sporting), Hernanes (Lazio), Ronaldinho (Flamengo)

Forwards: Neymar (Santos), Hulk (FC Porto), Jonas (Valencia), Leandro Damiao (Internacional)


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