Brazil have agreed
to release striker Ronaldo from next month's World Cup qualifiers
against Paraguay and Argentina as well as the Confederations Cup in
Germany later in June.
"Ronaldo said he had personal problems which prevented him from
dedicating himself to the Brazilian national team at the moment," coach
Carlos Alberto Parreira said.
"So the technical staff have decided to release him."
Ronaldo said last week that he wanted to skip the Confederations Cup,
which will be held from June 15-29, but had not asked to be left out of
the World Cup qualifiers.
On Monday, Ronaldo said he had talked the situation over with Parreira
on the telephone and admitted he was surprised to have been left out of
this Sunday's home game against Paraguay and the one in Argentina the
"I was ready and prepared for these two games, but it's the CBF's
decision and I have to respect it," he said in a television interview.
"I needed a rest and a chance to forget about the things I've been going
through," added Ronaldo, who split up with fiancee Daniella Cicarelli at
the start of May, three months after throwing a lavish engagement party
at a Paris chateau.
"I'm going to prepare well for next year."
Parreira, who has previously warned players that missing the
Confederations Cup could jeopardise their places at the 2006 World Cup
in Germany, denied that Ronaldo was being punished.
"The national team is not a place for retaliation or to harbour grudges
or resentments," Parreira said.
"But I think we're going to have to do without him for these two games.
"He confessed that, because of some personal and professional matters,
his head is not really in the right place."
Brazil, who are second in the 10-nation South American World Cup
qualifying group with 24 points from 13 games, called up Sao Paulo
striker Grafite as Ronaldo's replacement.
Ronaldo won and converted a hat-trick on penalties when Brazil beat
Argentina 3-1 last year and is the leading scorer in the competition
with eight goals.
Last week, Parreira issued a stern warning to the striker after hearing
that he did not want to go to Germany.
"It would be great just to play the World Cup," Parreira said.
"Personally, it would be great for me if I could just coach the team at
the World Cup and not have to worry about the qualifiers and the
friendlies, where there is a lot of wear and tear."
"Every player should feel happy when he is picked. But if a player
really doesn't want to play for his country, then he has every right to
ask to be released.
"Nobody is irreplaceable."