The Brazilian manager Carlos Dunga has announced his 23-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa. Eventhough it was widely anticipated that Dunga would not include the AC Milan star Ronaldinho in his team. It still doesn’t fail to shock fans that the FIFA World Player of the Year for 2004 and 2005 is not going to be in South Africa, despite him being in great form for his club. I guess Dunga probably felt Ronaldinho was past his prime at 30 to add a second World Cup crown to the one he won in 2002.
He probably felt similarly about the Corinthians duo, the 37-year old left-winger Carlos Roberto and 33-year old striker, Ronaldo. However, what is surprising is that the Flamenco striker Adriano is also not a part of Dunga’s squad.
It seems age is working not only against the older player but also the younger ones since two of Brazil’s rising-stars Alexandre Pato and Neymar are also staying home. Alexandre Pato who has been in great form for AC Milan. It comes as a great surprise especially when clubs like Chelsea and Liverpool are said to be battling over signing the 20-year old wonder-kid. Infact it is quite shocking that Dunga has planned to leave out a lot of big names of the past and the future.
Most of the 23-man squad remains the same as the one in the qualifying campaign with addition of the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, Cruzeiro veteran Gilberto and surprisingly, Wolfsburg striker Grafite.
So the Brazil squad has no Ronaldo, no Adriano, no Pato, no Roberto Carlos, no Neymar and (most heartbreakingly) no Ronaldinho. That certainly doesn’t sound right. Could Pato have lost the plot already?
For the fans it has been one heart breaking news after another with the likes of David Beckham missing out due to injury and Fernando Torres and now even Wayne Rooney struggling to be fit in time, there comes the news of the redoubtable Ronaldinho being left out! Here is hoping there are no more such shocks in the days to come.
Brazil’s 23-man Squad
Julio Cesar, Heurlho Gomes, Alexander Doni
Maicon, Daniel Alves, Gilberto, Michel Bastos, Lucio, Juan, Luisao, Thiago Silva
Gilberto Silva, Felipe Melo, Kaka, Julio Baptista, Josue, Kleberson, Elano, Ramires,
Robinho, Luis Fabiano, Nilmar and Grafite