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Brazil drops Ronaldinho, recalls Kaka
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 07 - 03 - 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO – Mercurial forward Ronaldinho was dropped by Brazil Tuesday as coach Luiz Felipe Scolari named his squad for this month's friendlies against Italy and Russia.
Real Madrid duo Kaka and Marcelo were recalled and Bayern Munich defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo, who has only been capped twice, was also included by Brazil, which is aiming for a sixth world title when it hosts next year's World Cup.
Ronaldinho, making his first appearance for a year, had a miserable game against England last month when he was substituted at halftime after missing a penalty.
Kaka, 30, was left out of the squad for the game at Wembley, the first of Scolari's second stint in charge.
Scolari, who led Brazil to its 2002 World Cup win, played down Ronaldinho's omission, saying he wanted to give players an equal chance to show what they could do before selecting the squad for the Confederations Cup in June.
After facing Italy in Geneva on March 21 and Russia at Stamford Bridge in London on March 25, Brazil hosts Chile in April and England and France in June.
“There were some things I didn't like against England in terms of positioning,” Scolari, brought back in November after Mano Menezes was sacked, told a news conference.
“I'm going to give an equal chance to all the players who under consideration (for the Confederations Cup).
“In principle, I'm giving the two (Ronaldinho and Kaka) the same chance. One was called for the first match and the other has been selected for these two games.
“Whether both of them can be picked (together) in the future, I don't know.”
Scolari also stood up for specialist dribbler Neymar, saying the flamboyant forward's reputation for falling down easily was undeserved and exaggerated.
“He gets fouled 10 times a match, and possibly one or two of those free kicks shouldn't be awarded, but then that is normal in football,” Scolari said. “The coaches who criticize Neymar, who claim he falls over or simulates fouls, do that because it's an easy way out for them.
“In Brazil it seems whenever somebody is really good, when you have players who can improvise and create things, it causes bad feeling,” added Scolari.
Neymar is regarded as the outstanding player of his generation who embodies the spirit of Brazilian football with his often cheeky and unpredictable skills. Scolari said Cristiano Ronaldo, who he coached for five years with Portugal, suffered from the same unfair reputation.
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Queens Park Rangers), Diego Cavalieri (Fluminense); Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Thiago Silva (Paris St Germain), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Dede (Vasco da Gama);
Midfielders: Ramires (Chelsea), Paulinho (Corinthians), Luiz Gustavo (Bayern Munich), Fernando (Gremio), Jean (Fluminense), Oscar (Chelsea), Lucas (Paris St Germain), Kaka (Real Madrid), Hernanes (Lazio); Forwards: Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg), Neymar (Santos), Fred (Fluminense). — Agencies

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