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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Baptista replaces Ze Roberto in Brazil squad

Baptista replaces Ze Roberto in Brazil squad

June 12, 2007 16:34 IST

Brazil have added Real Madrid striker Julio Baptista to their Copa America squad after midfielder Ze Roberto quit international football.

Baptista, who was unable to secure a regular first-team place in his season on loan at Arsenal, has not played for his country since the 2-0 win over Wales in a friendly last September.

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Ze Roberto pulled out of the squad last Friday, two days after being recalled for the first time since the 2006 World Cup.

"After much personal meditation, I reached the conclusion that, at the age of 32, I cannot serve the Brazilian national team with the quality required in the current circumstances," he wrote in a letter to the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).

"Similarly, I will not be as useful to the group as I was on previous occasions."

Ze Roberto has been in outstanding form for his club Santos, leading them to the semi-finals of the South American Libertadores Cup, where they last over two legs to fellow Brazilians Gremio.

Venezuela host this year's Copa America from June 26-July 15.

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