Ronaldinho still in my World Cup plans: Scolari
Rio de Janeiro: Brazil`s national football coach Luiz Felipe Scolari insists that former star Ronaldinho remains in his World Cup plans despite leaving the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year out of a 22-man squad to face Italy and Russia.
Speaking during a press conference here Tuesday, Scolari said Ronaldinho would have another chance to earn a place in Brazil`s squad for June`s Confederations Cup.
"Ronaldinho will be called up next time," the 2002 World Cup-winning coach said. "All potential World Cup squad members will be given at least two matches to be looked at."
The former Barcelona star`s fellow veteran and Ballon d`Or winner Kaka was recalled after being omitted from the team that lost to England 2-1 at London`s Wembley Stadium last month.
Ronaldinho played in the match but missed an early penalty and was substituted at half-time.
"Kaka`s return goes with our philosophy of giving everybody a chance," Scolari said.
"Many of the players are fighting for the same position. I will observe all of them and then I will decide who will go to the Confederations Cup."
Brazil will play Italy in Geneva March 21 before meeting Russia at Chelsea`s Stamford Bridge in London four days later.
As expected Paris Saint-Germain stars Lucas and Thiago Silva have been included along with strikers Neymar (Santos) and Hulk (Zenit Saint-Petersburg`s Hulk).
Scolari also called up in-form Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa for the first time.
Scolari is preparing the team for the Confederation Cup, to be played in Brazil from June 15-30. The event will comprise each of FIFA`s six continental champions and European runners-up Italy. It is considered by FIFA as a warm-up event for the World Cup a year later.
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Queens Park Rangers), Diego Cavalieri (Fluminense)
Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Dede (Vasco da Gama), Dante (Bayern Munich), David Luiz (Chelsea), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Paulinho (Corinthians), Fernando (Gremio), Ramires (Chelsea), Jean (Fluminense), Luiz Gustavo (Bayern Munich), Hernanes (Lazio), Kaka (Real Madrid), Oscar (Chelsea), Lucas (Paris Saint Germain), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)
Strikers: Neymar (Santos), Fred (Fluminense), Hulk (Zenit St-Petersburg)