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Menezes defends Ronaldinho exclusion

11 May 2012 21:42

Brazil boss Mano Menezes has hinted that Ronaldinho has little chance of earning an international recall in time for the Olympics.

The Flamengo forward was included in the 49-year-old's provisional panel for the Games in London but was on Friday omitted from the 23-man squad for the upcoming friendlies with Denmark, United States, Mexico and Argentina.

Menezes suggested that Ronaldinho, who had been hoping to earn one of the over-age berths on offer, could yet force his way back into the reckoning, but admitted that his focus is firmly fixed on nurturing the country's young talent.

"Ronaldinho was not summoned for the same reason other times before," the former Corinthians coach said.

"We have to respect this player because he is a world champion, but this moment is reserved for the younger players.

"If I take someone, I am taking them to play - this is a chance to make observations about our youngsters.

"But great players are able to bounce back and surprise us. And he must be held in this regard."

Menezes suggested that Ronaldinho had not done enough in his last international outing to retain his place in the national team set-up.

"After the Copa America, he was called up three times," he said. "Against Ghana, he had an average game. I called on him again against Mexico and was voted the best player on the team.

"After I included him against Bosnia and Herzegovina in February, I removed him during 15 or 20 minutes into the second half."

Ronaldinho, who has been capped 94 times by his country, played a starring role in Brazil's 2002 World Cup triumph in Japan and South Korea.

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Friday 18 April

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Serie A table

# Team MP D P
1 1 +3 3
2 1 +1 3
3 1 +0 1
4 1 +0 1
5 0 +0 0
6 0 +0 0
7 0 +0 0
8 0 +0 0
9 0 +0 0
10 0 +0 0
11 0 +0 0
12 0 +0 0
13 0 +0 0
14 0 +0 0
15 0 +0 0
16 0 +0 0
17 0 +0 0
18 0 +0 0
19 1 -1 0
20 1 -3 0

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