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Ronaldinho, Kaka out of Brazil World Cup squad

Thursday, 8 May 2014 - 9:28am IST | Agency: IANS

Rio de Janeiro: Ronaldinho and Kaka were left out of Brazil's 23-man squad for the 2014 football World Cup Wednesday as coach Luiz Felipe Scolari kept faith in his 2013 Confederations Cup-winning team.

Former Barcelona star Ronaldinho has struggled with form and fitness for Brazil's Atletico Mineiro football club and was not expected to make Scolari's squad for football's showpiece tournament in Brazil, to be played from June 12 to July 13.

Kaka was considered an outside chance for his fourth World Cup campaign, having resurrected his career at AC Milan this season after four unhappy years at Real Madrid.

Scolari, who led Brazil to victory at the 2002 World Cup during his first spell in charge, urged Brazil fans to unite behind the national team.

"We ask that the 23 players called up are well-received regardless of people's opinions," Xinhua quoted Scolari as saying during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro. "We all want to be going in the same direction, which is to win the World Cup."

Scolari, who controversially omitted Romario from his 2002 squad, admitted the 2014 list was easier to choose.

Scolari insisted the team is not looking beyond its first match against Croatia June 12.

"The biggest rival is Croatia. It doesn't get us anywhere thinking about the final if we don't get over the first step," he said.

Brazil's squad will gather May 26 at their training base in Granja Comary, north of Rio de Janeiro.

Scolari's team earned favouritism to win a record sixth World Cup after upsetting world and European champions Spain 3-0 in last year's Confederations Cup final. They have been drawn in Group A alongside Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon.

Brazil World Cup squad:
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Gremio).

Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (Roma), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Maxwell (Paris Saint-Germain), David Luiz (Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Dante (Bayern Munich), Henrique (Napoli).

Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Paulinho (Tottenham), Ramires (Chelsea), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Oscar (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea), Hernanes (Internazionale), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk).

Forwards: Fred (Fluminense), Neymar (Barcelona), Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg), Jo (Atletico Mineiro).




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