Brazil ignore Kaka for friendly against South Africa next month

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has dropped Kaka, while retained goalkeeper Julio Cesar for March 5 friendly against South Africa.

Updated: February 12, 2014 00:12 IST
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Rio de Janeiro: Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari on Tuesday brought in two new faces but dropped AC Milan veteran Kaka in unveiling his Europe-based players to face South Africa in a March 5 friendly.

Scolari, architect of Brazil's 2002 World Cup success in Japan as well as last year's home triumph over Spain on the Confederations Cup, said he will call up three more home-based players ahead of the game in Johannesburg.

The new faces are Bayern Munich defender Rafinha and Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho. Brazil will be without Fluminense striker Fred, who scored five times in the Confederations Cup, as the 30-year-old aggravated a serious thigh injury last week.

Aside from Fred, the World Cup hosts are short of forwards and last year saw Atletico Madrid's in-form Brazil-born forward Diego Costa elect to play for his adopted country, Spain.

Former Milan star Alexandre Pato is out of form and goalscoring duties will be borne, at least against South Africa, by Neymar and Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk with Bernard of Shakhtar Donetsk providing back-up.

There was no place for Lucas or Maxwell of Paris Saint Germain. Julio Cesar retains his slot as undeisputed first choice goalkeeper despite not playing all season with English Championship side Queens Park Rangers. Chelsea provide three players in midfielders Oscar and Ramires and winger Willian.

Brazil squad to face South Africa (Europe-based players only):

Goalkeeper: Julio Cesar (QPR/ENG)

Defenders: Thiago Silva (Paris SG/FRA), David Luiz (Chelsea/ENG), Dante (Bayern Munich/GER), Dani Alves (FC Barcelona/ESP), Rafinha (Bayern Munich/GER), Marcelo (Real Madrid/ESP)

Midfielders: Paulinho (Tottenham/ENG), Fernandinho (Manchester City/ENG), Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg/GER), Ramires (Chelsea/ENG), Oscar (Chelsea/ENG), Willian (Chelsea/ENG)

Strikers: Neymar (Barcelona/ESP), Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg/RUS), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk/UKR)

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