Unlike most counterparts in this edition of the FIFA World Cup, Brazil’s coach, Carlos Dunga, has decided to name the final 23 members who will be travelling to the World Cup in South Africa, in a month’s time.
Putting rest to speculation and media reports, Dunga came out with the final squad and there aren’t too many surprise inclusions as far as the overall team is concerned. The media, in many parts of the world, were howling for the inclusion of Ronaldinho to the team sheet however Dunga decided to go his own way, and rightly so. >
The toothy grin may have found its way back to Ronaldinho’s face but the attacking superstar has failed to find his Barcelona form with AC Milan. Having failed to make the impact on Milan, as his former teammate Kaka did, Ronaldinho finds himself struggling with weight issues and fitness problems, all amounting to a correct exclusion from the squad.
Troubled party-hound Adriano returned to Brazil following a bust-up with Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho and despite having seemingly mended his ways with Flamengo, Adriano was cut out of the list - again, rightly so. The striker was just a shade of his glorious past while trouble with teammates has been an all-too-often occurrence for the bad boy of Brazilian football.
Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo, both playing for the Corinthians, have failed to find a place in the team after neither was prominent in action for their club side, over the last season. Ronaldo has been reduced to a laughing stock, lumbering about on the pitch behind the ball, while Roberto Carlos has still maintained some level of dignity, despite his age.
Amongst the other hopefuls who will find themselves in front of a television screen at home, the name of Alexandre Pato is the most prominent. Having been a regular part of the qualifying campaign for the World Cup, Pato seems to have fallen out of favour of the national team coach ever since his injury.
One has to wonder, though, as both Pato and Ronaldinho play for a team coached by Leonardo, who has had numerous bust ups with Dunga, both on and off the pitch, including the most famous incident at the 1998 World Cup finals when the two got into a fight on the pitch, with Dunga grabbing Leonardo’s neck. That said, Thiago Silva does make it into the squad so probably such an allegation would be baseless. >
However, the team does have a number of other surprises including the likes of Gilberto Silva, who has been non-existent throughout the season, Heurelho Gomes, who may have been aided by Tottenham’s overall performance in the season, as well as Grafite, the most surprising inclusion from Wolfsburg who no one, other than probably Dunga himself, considered worthy of a World Cup squad place.
The team that finally heads to the World Cup in South Africa, is as follows:
Julio Cesar (Inter) Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham) Alexander Doni (Roma)
Maicon (Inter) Daniel Alves (Barcelona) Gilberto (Cruzeiro) Michel Bastos (Olympique Lyonnais) Lucio (Inter) Silveira Juan (Roma) Luisao (Benfica) Thiago Silva (AC Milan)
Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos) Felipe Melo (Juventus) Kaka (Real Madrid) Julio Baptista (Roma) Josue (Wolfsburg) Kleberson (Flamengo) Elano (Galatasaray) Ramires (Benfica)
Robinho (Santos) Luis Fabiano (Sevilla) Nilmar (Villarreal) Grafite (Wolfsburg)