Player of the Year Ronaldo on Sunday reiterated his desire to skip the
Confederations Cup even though coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has hinted
that the striker could lose his spot on the national team if he refuses
to play in next month's tournament in Germany.
The Brazilian striker said last week that he was irritated at having to
play in the Cup because he would end up without a lengthy vacation until
after the 2006 World Cup.
Two days later, in an apparent response to the Real Madrid player,
Parreira said he would replace players who wouldn't be willing to make
personal sacrifices for the national team.
"I'll keep trying (to be released from the roster)," Ronaldo told
reporters at Rio de Janeiro's international airport shortly after
returning from Spain. "I'm not just any young player who just arrived. I
have played with the national team in all competitions until now."
Ronaldo and nearly all other Brazilian regulars playing in Europe were
summoned to play in the eight-team Confederations Cup on June 15-29.
Among the regulars, only World Cup veteran defenders Cafu and Roberto
Carlos were not called for the competition because Parreira wants to
test new wingers.
Parreira and the Brazilian Soccer Confederation argue that the
Confederations Cup is crucial in Brazil's preparations for the 2006 Cup.
Brazil is hoping to avoid a repeat of its 2003 showing, when it fielded
a squad of veterans and less experienced players and was eliminated in
the first round.
Ronaldo will report to the national team on Tuesday, and is expected to
play in next week's World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and rival
Brazil is second in the 10-team South American qualifying standings,
four points behind leader Argentina. The top four teams qualify for the
finals in Germany, while the fifth-placed nation plays the Oceania
winner for another berth.