[dropcap]B[/dropcap]razil announced their Confederations Cup squad yesterday; however four notable playmakers have been omitted from the list.
Scolari cuts famous number 10s from squad
Contrary to wide expectations, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has chosen to leave perhaps the country’s most famous number 10s over the last decade – Ronaldinho and Kaká – at home, preferring to choose what he calls, more ‘enthusiastic’ players.
“We could lose out in terms of experience but we will make up for that with the enthusiasm which the young players bring,” said Scolari, referring to the two former Ballon d’Or winners.
Also missing from the list is former Santos number 10, Ganso, and Liverpool’s in-form playmaker, Philippe Coutinho.
It is of little surprise that Felipão chose not to include Ganso, who’s been drastically out of form since moving to São Paulo last year, and Kaká, who’s struggled to establish a place in Real Madrid’s starting line-up for the better part of 18 months.
The benefit of the doubt could also be given to Brazil’s World Cup winning coach regarding Coutinho’s omission – despite the Liverpool number 10 being in scintillating form since joining the Reds in January; scoring twice and producing five assists with 18 key passes in just 12 appearances for his new club. As the tournament is to be held on home soil in June, it has perhaps come a little too soon for the player who has only played regularly for under a third of the season.
However his choice not to include Ronaldinho has raised more than a few eyebrows. The Atlético Mineiro star has recaptured his old form and been influential, not only on the domestic scene, but in the Copa Libertadores where he has perhaps been the tournament’s stand-out player.
As recently as last week, Ronaldinho inspired Atlético to a 4-1 rout of São Paulo (6-2 on aggregate), showcasing his repertoire of tricks as his side, the favourites for the tournament, progressed to the quarter-finals.[youtube id=”S6iBmRGTQYY” width=”620″ height=”360″]
Instead, the playmaking roles in the seleçã’s squad have been taken by Ganso’s team-mate at São Paulo, Jádson, whilst Oscar of Chelsea, and Hernanes of Lazio also make the list.
To warm up for the Confederations Cup, Brazil will play two friendly matches: against England on 2nd June at the new Maracanã stadium and against France in Porto Alegre on 9th June.