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Kaka, Ronaldinho in Brazil team

May 18, 2007 08:37 IST

Kaka and Ronaldinho were included in the squad for Brazil's friendlies against England and Turkey next month even though they asked not to be picked for the Copa America.

Coach Dunga said he wanted to have the pair at the tournament in Venezuela in June and July but respected their decision to ask for a rest.

Kaka and Ronaldinho sent letters to the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) last week saying they were tired and wanted to skip the Copa, where Brazil will defend the title they won in Peru in 2004.

Despite this, Dunga named them in a 22-man squad for the European tour which also included uncapped Dutch-based striker Afonso Alves, CSKA Moscow striker Jo and defenders Naldo and Alex Silva of Werder Bremen and Sao Paulo respectively.

Brazil play England at Wembley on June 1 -- the first full international at the new stadium -- and Turkey in Dortmund four days later.

"We would like to have all the players at the Copa America but we have to respect the thoughts of each player," Dunga told reporters.

"We have to respect individuals, it's the only way to build a strong group. When someone doesn't want to play, there's no point in forcing him."


Dunga, appointed last July to rebuild the team after their lacklustre performance at the World Cup, has already left both players on the bench.

Ronaldinho's form for Brazil has been patchy and his two goals in the 4-0 win over Chile in March were his first for the team for nearly two years.

Dunga's squad for the friendlies was a mixture of established players and surprise newcomers.

He gave a first call-up to Afonso, top scorer in the Dutch league with 34 goals for Heerenveen. Afonso is barely known in his homeland despite his exploits in Europe.

"He's tall, strong, fast and has good technique," said Dunga.

Ronaldo, yet to be picked by Dunga, was left out again despite his revival with AC Milan.

Before the squad announcement, CBF president Ricardo Teixeira promised that Dunga would stay as coach until the 2010 World Cup in South Africa regardless of results.

"It's good to have the confidence of the president," Dunga said. "But I'm not worried about whether I stay or go, I'm focused on putting into practice what we discussed at the outset."

Goalkeepers: Doni (AS Roma), Helton (Porto

Defenders: Alex Rodrigo (PSV Eindhoven), Daniel Alves (Sevilla), Gilberto (Hertha Berlin), Juan (Bayer Leverkusen), Maicon (Inter Milan), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Naldo (Werder Bremen), Alex Silva (Sao Paulo)

Midfielders: Diego (Werder Bremen), Edmilson (Barcelona), Kaka (AC Milan), Elano (Shakhtar Donetsk), Gilberto Silva (Arsenal), Josue (Sao Paulo), Mineiro (Hertha Berlin),

Forwards: Afonso Alves (Heerenveen), Jo (CSKA Moscow), Robinho (Real Madrid), Ronaldinho (Barcelona), Vagner Love (CSKA Moscow)

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