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May 11, 2010

Ronaldinho misses Brazil cut

Ronaldinho and Adriano will both miss the World Cup in South Africa after being omitted from the 23-man Brazil squad named by Dunga on Tuesday.

Ronaldinho & Robinho
GettyImagesRonaldinho and Robinho: Team-mates for club and country

Wolfsburg striker Grafite is the surprise inclusion at the expense of Flamengo's Adriano, while Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes is one of the three keepers named.

Dunga explained Adriano's failure to make the squad was a rational, rather than emotional decision after the former Inter Milan forward was granted numerous chances to impress and failed to do so.

"Adriano was given several opportunities," said Dunga, who lifted the World Cup as captain in 1994 and will now bid for the Selecao's sixth World Cup win. "There was a moment when we made a decision about the group.

"The group always welcomed Adriano, but there is a moment when reason talks louder than the heart."

The 30-year-old Ronaldinho, who was the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005, has been in good form for AC Milan this season but has missed out on Dunga's squad for the finals in 2010, denying him the chance to add a second World Cup crown to the one he won in 2002.

One of his team-mates in 2002, former Manchester United midfielder Kleberson, has made it into the squad after rediscovering his best form back in Brazil with Flamengo.

The coach also opted to leave out Santos duo Paulo Henrique and Neymar. Dunga revealed the duo failed to impress enough while on international duty.

"I have to test the players when they are in the national team," he said. "I follow their form in their clubs, but why didn't you (the media) want them in the squad in December or January?

"These players are enormously talented, but I cannot prepare a national team for 2014 if I have to win today."

AC Milan's Alexandre Pato has also failed to win selection after a less-than-impressive season in Italy.

Inter Milan trio Julio Cesar, Maicon and Lucio will be three of the most important players in the squad after helping the Nerazzurri clinch a berth in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

Brazil have been drawn in Group G alongside North Korea, Ivory Coast and Portugal and Dunga called for the fans to back the team, regardless of their thoughts on him as coach.

"I beg the Brazilian fan that they support us," he said. "If they don't like me or any other thing, that's fine, but I want him to support us, to be a patriot."

Brazil squad:

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Doni (Roma), Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham)

Defenders: Maicon (Inter Milan), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Lucio (Inter Milan), Juan (Roma), Luisao (Roma), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), Gilberto (Cruzeiro), Michel Bastos (Lyon)

Midfielders: Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos), Felipe Melo (Juventus), Josue (Wolfsburg), Elano (Galatasaray), Ramires (Benfica), Kleberson (Flamengo), Kaka (Real Madrid), Julio Baptista (Roma)

Forwards: Robinho (Santos/Manchester City), Nilmar (Villarreal), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla), Grafite (Wolfsburg).