Posted by Leander Schaerlaeckens
Head coach Dunga is now officially on the hook for Brazil's fortunes. He probably was anyway because he's the team's manager, but leaving several high-profile players off the preliminary 30-man roster -- he picked only 23 men, meaning he won't have to cut anyone, barring injuries -- will put additional strain on one of the most scrutinized positions in soccer.
Despite a national campaign aimed at getting Neymar, a fantastically gifted 18-year-old forward, on the roster, he wasn't included, and that is bound to set off a furious storm of backlash. Another super young forward, AC Milan's Alexandre Pato, also was not called up.
Added to the long list of absentees were veterans Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, all over-the-hill heroes of yore who weren't expected to make the team but had hoped to -- especially after Ronaldinho's rich vein of form earlier in the season for AC Milan. Playmaker Diego and prodigal striker Adriano also missed the cut.
Not bringing Brazil's young prodigies could be a mistake, as the Seleçao have traditionally relied heavily on the whims of the young. Leaving such riches home could prove costly, both in this and future World Cups. That's discounting the electric energy they could have injected into a mirthless Brazil side.
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar, Heurelho Gomes, Alexander Doni
Defenders: Maicon, Dani Alves, Gilberto, Michel Bastos, Lucio, Juan, Luisao, Thiago Silva
Midfielders: Gilberto Silva, Felipe Melo, Kaka, Julio Baptista, Josue, Kleberson, Elano, Ramires
Attackers: Robinho, Luis Fabiano, Nilmar, Grafite