Brazil drops Ronaldinho for international friendlies

Updated: 12 May 2012 16:36 IST

Two-time FIFA world footballer of the year Ronaldinho has been left out of Brazil's national team for a series of upcoming friendlies against Denmark, the US, Mexico and Argentina.

Brazil drops Ronaldinho for international friendlies
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Rio de Janerio:

Two-time FIFA world footballer of the year Ronaldinho has been left out of Brazil's national team for a series of upcoming friendlies against Denmark, the US, Mexico and Argentina.

Criticized for his poor form and the early exit of his Brazilian club Flamengo from Copa Libertadores, Ronaldinho's exclusion comes two days after the president of Brazil's football federation, Jose Maria Marin, expressed his displeasure over sending the midfielder to London.

The 23-man squad named for the friendlies will form the basis for Brazil's London Olympic team, set to be announced next month.

National coach Mano Menezes, who last year cited Ronaldinho as a key part of his Olympic plans, admitted that his feelings about the former Barcelona and AC Milan star had changed.

"I previously thought he deserved to be called up but not this time," Menezes was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

"Many times players are made scapegoats. He is not responsible for the success or the failure of the Brazilian team. I have a lot of respect for him," he added.

Menezes expressed optimism over Ronaldinho's return. "Some players are capable of coming back and surprising us. Ronaldinho is one of those."

There was better news for AC Milan's Alexandre Pato, who was recalled to the team after a series of injury problems.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Neto (Fiorentina), Rafael (Santos)

Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Danilo, Alex Sandro (both Porto), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), David Luiz (Chelsea), Bruno Uvini (Tottenham Hotspur), Juan (Inter Milan)

Midfielders: Casemiro, Lucas (both Sao Paulo), Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur), Romulo (Vasco da Gama), Paulo Henrique Ganso (Santos), Oscar (Internacional), Giuliano (Dnipropetrovsk)

Forwards: Alexandre Pato (AC Milan), Hulk (Porto), Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Neymar (Santos), Wellington Nem (Fluminense).

Topics : Football Brazil
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