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Rediff.com  » Sports » Lucio, Maicon earn first Brazil call since 2010 World Cup

Lucio, Maicon earn first Brazil call since 2010 World Cup

March 04, 2011 09:42 IST

Brazil's World Cup captain Lucio and his Inter Milan teammate Maicon were recalled for the first time since the 2010 finals on Thursday to meet Scotland in a friendly in London on March 27.

Santos midfielder Elano was also included in a Brazil squad for the first time since the finals in South Africa where Brazil lost 3-2 to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. The friendly will be played at Arsenal's Emirates stadium.

Coach Mano Menezes, who has eight veterans of the 2010 World Cup in the 24-man squad, said the return of the trio had always been in his plans depending on their form.

He said Elano, who was nursing an ankle injury during the loss to the Dutch, had been used in central midfield by Santos since his return from Europe "but he's already playing again on the (right) side of the field where I think he can do best."

AC Milan's Robinho, who has captained Brazil in their most recent matches, was being rested, Menezes told a news conference.

"He needs a rest. He's been playing in the Italian (Serie A) and Champions League. At a certain point it's necessary to have a break but I'm counting on him for the Copa America," he said.

Brazil, preparing for the Copa America in Argentina in July, will be looking to recover from successive 1-0 defeats by Argentina in November and France in Paris last month.

Menezes said he had not settled on a regular captain, neither confirming nor discarding Lucio, who captained former coach Dunga's team, adding his choice "has to be a player who inspires confidence and a capacity to lead."

SEEKING ALTERNATIVES

Menezes said he was waiting for World Cup midfielder Kaka, coming back for Real Madrid from long term injury, and Flamengo's Ronaldinho to recover their best Brazil form before calling them back into the squad.

"Ronaldinho Gaucho is evolving gradually and if he continues like this he'll naturally be a part of the national team," said Menezes, whose record in five friendlies in charge is three wins and two defeats.

"I have expectations of counting on (Ronaldinho and Kaka) but it's important to be clear that I need to find reliable alternatives in case those expectations are not met in the future."

Youth team midfielder Lucas of Sao Paulo was called up for the first time and Santos striker Neymar was recalled after the pair helped Brazil win the South American Under-20 championship in Peru last month.

Brazil have two friendlies arranged for June against the Netherlands in Gioania in a rematch of their Cup quarter-final and Romania. The match against the Romanians in Sao Paulo will be retired striker Ronaldo's official Brazil team farewell.

They will be playing Scotland for the first time since beating them 2-1 in the group phase at the 1998 World Cup in France. The countries have met nine times with seven wins for Brazil and two draws, according to Brazilian Football Confederation records.

Source:
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