Ronaldo wasn't included in the Brazil squad on Thursday for upcoming
World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup despite pressure from
fans and media.
AC Milan's Ronaldinho also was missing from the list of 23 players
chosen by coach Dunga to play qualifiers against Uruguay in Montevideo
on June 6, and Paraguay four days later in the northeastern city of
The team travels to South Africa on June 11 for the Confederations Cup
starting three days later.
Ronaldinho's teammate at AC Milan, Kaka, and Manchester City's Robinho
will be in charge of leading Brazil, along with Sevilla's Luis Fabiano
and Milan's Alexandre Pato.
Only five players are playing for Brazilian clubs: striker Nilmar and
defender Kleber of Internacional; goalkeeper Victor of Gremio;
midfielder Ramires of Cruzeiro; and defender Andre Santos of Corinthians.
The Brazil coach, a former defensive midfielder, said Ronaldinho wasn't
called up because he was going though a "difficult moment" at AC Milan,
where he hasn't been used as a starter.
"He needs to play more," Dunga said. "Hopefully next season he will find
his space and play more matches, returning to the form that we all know."
Many fans and local media were hoping to see Ronaldo on the list, too.
Ronaldo is thriving with Brazilian club Corinthians after recovering
from the third serious knee injury of his career. A three-time world
player of the year, Ronaldo has scored 10 goals since his return in
March. He was sidelined for more than a year after he was injured while
playing for AC Milan in February 2008.
"Ronaldo is returning from an injury. I don't even think he would feel
comfortable in the national team right now," said Dunga, who played with
Ronaldo in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups. "He wants to be summoned only
when he is ready."
Ronaldo has been saying one of his main goals is to return to the
national team, and admits he isn't ready yet.
"I'm not prepared," Ronaldo said. "In my opinion, this is not the right
moment to be in the national team, especially after these last three
matches in which I had some health problems."
Ronaldo, the all-time leading World Cup finals scorer with 15 goals, was
coping with the flu recently and on Wednesday sustained a minor muscle
injury in a Brazilian Cup match against Fluminense.
Dunga said he could summon the striker if he shows he has recovered some
of his top form.
Brazil is second in South American qualifying with 21 points, three
behind leader Paraguay and one ahead of third-place Chile. Argentina is
fourth with 19. The top four nations will earn automatic World Cup
In the Confederations Cup, Brazil is in Group B along with Egypt, the
United States and Italy. It debuts against Egypt on June 15 in