Brazil announces WC squad

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira named his 23-man squad for the World Cup on Monday with only one surprise inclusion.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:40 IST
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Rio De Janeiro:

Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira named his 23-man squad for the World Cup on Monday with only one surprise inclusion. Lyon defender Cris will take the place that was expected to go veteran Roque Junior, who is recovering from an injury. "Today, Cris is one of the respected players in Europe. He sought after by various clubs. He deserved a spot among the 23 players called,'' Parreira said. Parreira said that while Brazil had talented players to spare, he believes the team he called up represented the best the country had to offer. "All the players were called up over the last four years, they were called because they deserve it. So, at this moment, in my opinion, these 23 players are the best to represent Brazil in the World Cup,'' said Parreira. Ronaldo and Ronaldinho were also on the list, along with World Cup veterans Roberto Carlos and captain Cafu. Younger players like Real Madrid's Robinho and Lyon's Fred also made the cut. From their jersey numbers, it appears Brazil's attack will be lead by Adriano of Inter Milan, who will be wearing No. 7, and Real Madrid's Ronaldo, who will be No. 9. "Whenever we call on him Adriano provides results. It was that way at the Copa America which we won in 2004,'' added Parreira. Look out for Ronaldinho Parreira said he believed the most watched player of the tournament would be midfielder Ronaldinho. "At Barcelona he is the main player. On the 'Selecao' he shares space with the other big stars,'' said Parreira. Parreira, who led Brazil to victory at the 1994 World Cup, said he was confident the team would shine in Germany. "If I were to say I thought of the possibility of Brazil being eliminated I would be lying,'' said Parreira. "My thinking and that of the whole technical commission is the fight to be champion.'' Players from Brazil's team will travel to Switzerland on Sunday and players from foreign teams arrive next Monday to begin training in the city of Weggis. On June 4, the team heads to Germany. Brazil is scheduled to play two friendly games ahead of the World Cup, first against Lucerne in Basel on May 30 and then on June 4 against New Zealand in Geneva. Brazil's first World Cup game will be on June 13 when the team faces Croatia in Berlin. The five-time champions also play Australia and Japan in Group F. Squad:Goalkeepers: Dida (AC Milan), Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Rogerio Ceni (Sao Paulo). Defenders: Juan (Bayer Leverkusen), Lucio (Bayern Munich), Luisao (Benfica), Cris (Lyon), Cafu (AC Milan), Cicinho (Real Madrid), Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid), Gilberto (Hertha Berlin). Midfielders: Emerson (Juventus), Ze Roberto (Bayern Munich), Edmilson (FC Barcelona), Gilberto Silva (Arsenal), Ronaldinho (FC Barcelona), Kaka (AC Milan), Juninho (Lyon), Ricardinho (Corinthians). Forwards: Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Adriano (Inter Milan), Robinho (Real Madrid), Fred (Lyon). (AP)

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