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Ronaldinho still in my World Cup plans: Scolari

Posted on Mar 07, 11:42AM | IANS

Rio de Janeiro, March 6 : Brazil's national football coach Luiz Felipe Scolari insists that former star Ronaldinho remains in his World Cup plans despite leaving the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year out of a 22-man squad to face Italy and Russia.

Speaking during a press conference here Tuesday, Scolari said Ronaldinho would have another chance to earn a place in Brazil's squad for June's Confederations Cup, reports Xinhua.

"Ronaldinho will be called up next time," the 2002 World Cup-winning coach said. "All potential World Cup squad members will be given at least two matches to be looked at."

The former Barcelona star's fellow veteran and Ballon d'Or winner Kaka was recalled after being omitted from the team that lost to England 2-1 at London's Wembley Stadium last month.

Ronaldinho played in the match but missed an early penalty and was substituted at half-time.

"Kaka's return goes with our philosophy of giving everybody a chance," Scolari said.
"Many of the players are fighting for the same position. I will observe all of them and then I will decide who will go to the Confederations Cup."

Brazil will play Italy in Geneva March 21 before meeting Russia at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge in London four days later.

As expected Paris Saint-Germain stars Lucas and Thiago Silva have been included along with strikers Neymar (Santos) and Hulk (Zenit Saint-Petersburg's Hulk).

Scolari also called up in-form Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa for the first time.

Scolari is preparing the team for the Confederation Cup, to be played in Brazil from June 15-30. The event will comprise each of FIFA's six continental champions and European runners-up Italy. It is considered by FIFA as a warm-up event for the World Cup a year later.

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Queens Park Rangers), Diego Cavalieri (Fluminense)
Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Dede (Vasco da Gama), Dante (Bayern Munich), David Luiz (Chelsea), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Paulinho (Corinthians), Fernando (Gremio), Ramires (Chelsea), Jean (Fluminense), Luiz Gustavo (Bayern Munich), Hernanes (Lazio), Kaka (Real Madrid), Oscar (Chelsea), Lucas (Paris Saint Germain), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)
Strikers: Neymar (Santos), Fred (Fluminense), Hulk (Zenit St-Petersburg)