Brazil have recalled Real Madrid playmaker Kaka for two friendly matches to be held in October following a two-year absence from the national team.
Kaka has not played for Brazil since their quarter-final defeat to Netherlands at the 2010 World Cup. Coach Mano Menezes named the 30-year-old in a 23-man squad for the games against Iraq in Malmo, Sweden, on October 11 and against Japan in Wroclaw, Poland, five days later.
Kaka has found first-team opportunities at Madrid few and far between this season and has been closely linked with a move away from the club. He did, however, net a hat-trick against Colombian club Millonarios in an 8-0 Santiago Bernabeu Trophy win midweek.
Menezes insists his decision to recall Kaka came before Wednesday night's events, citing the midfielder's experience as a key factor in his selection.
"We need players as experienced as Kaka is with the national team,'' said Menezes. "We think that he will come here and show that he has improved. We know that this season will be key for him so we can start counting on him as a national team player again in the future.
"Players who have been through what Kaka has been through have to reinvent themselves. They need to find a way to keep playing at a high level. He has been practicing and playing more forward than he used to, and that means we can have him playing together with Oscar in the same team. We'll see how it works."
The player himself has expressed his shock at the inclusion, with Kaka claiming that he did not see it coming.
"This is a surprise to me. Actually I did not expect it," he said. "I received a message in the morning saying that there might be a surprise for me and I waited anxiously. Suddenly I saw that my name was on the list. My wife and kids have celebrated my return to the Selecao."
Brazil squad: Diego Alves (Valencia), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Atletico Mineiro); Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Adriano (Barcelona), Alex Sandro (Porto), Thiago Silva (Paris St Germain), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dede (Vasco), Leandro Castan (Roma); Sandro (Tottenham), Paulinho (Corinthians), Fernando (Gremio), Giuliano (Dnipro), Lucas (Sao Paulo), Oscar, Ramires (both Chelsea), Thiago Neves (Fluminense), Kaka (Real Madrid); Neymar (Santos), Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg).