Brazil forward missing in action

Ronaldinho left out of Brazil squad

May 21, 2009

Off-form Ronaldinho was left out of Brazil's squad on Thursday for next month's World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup.

Striker Ronaldo, who has not played for his country since the last World Cup, was also overlooked despite a promising start to his latest comeback with Corinthians.

Brazil face Uruguay in Montevideo on June 6 and host South American group leaders Paraguay in Recife four days later.

Coach Dunga also sprang a surprise by including uncapped Gremio goalkeeper Victor along with four other home-based players - fullbacks Kleber and Andre Santos, midfielder Ramires and striker Nilmar.

Ramires and Andre Santos are both uncapped while Nilmar, whose career has been plagued by injuries, has played twice for his country.

Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Gomes was recalled after an injury to Doni, the regular second choice after Julio Cesar.

Dunga said he wanted Ronaldinho to return to full form before he picked him again.

"I'm going to do everything possible to help him recover," he told reporters.

"I have confidence in him, he's a special player. He's having a bad time but I hope he can get over this."

Ronaldinho has failed to settle at AC Milan since his move from Barcelona last year and has recently been mostly confined to the bench.

The playmaker was substituted in the 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw in Ecuador last March after one of his worst performances at international level.

He then found himself among the substitutes for the following game at home to Peru and came on late in the match with Brazil already leading 3-0.

Ronaldo has scored eight goals for Corinthians in his latest comeback following a serious injury with AC Milan last year, however most of them were in the regional Paulista championship against modest opponents.

The 32-year-old is still trying to regain full fitness.

"We want to see the Ronaldo that we all know," said Dunga. "But he's going to have to prove with his club that he's ready to be called up."

The coach added: "We've stuck to our guns and picked players who are doing well at club level. We have to use common sense to do the best for Brazil."

Brazil are second in the 10-team South American World Cup qualifying group with 21 points from 12 games, three behind Paraguay.

The top four teams qualify directly for next year's finals in South Africa. The fifth plays off for another place against the fourth team from the CONCACAF region.

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Gomes (Tottenham Hotspur), Victor (Gremio)

Defenders: Maicon (Inter Milan), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Alex (Chelsea), Juan (AS Roma), Lucio (Bayern Munich), Luisao (Benfica), Kleber (Internacional), Andre Santos (Corinthians).

Midfielders: Anderson (Manchester United), Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos), Josue (VfL Wolfsburg), Ramires (Cruzeiro), Elano (Manchester City), Felipe Melo (Fiorentina), Julio Baptista (AS Roma), Kaka (AC Milan)

Forwards: Alexandre Pato (AC Milan), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla), Nilmar (Internacional), Robinho (Manchester City).