World Cup 2010 - No Adriano, Ronaldinho for Brazil

Reuters - Tue, 11 May 17:32:00 2010

Forward Adriano and former World Player of the Year Ronaldinho were left out of Brazil's World Cup squad as coach Dunga opted for a safety-first approach.

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Dunga also refused to bow to pressure to call up Santos youngsters Paulo Henrique Ganso and Neymar, instead announcing a squad packed with defensive midfielders.

"Being conservative has brought results since the start," said Dunga, who has won the Copa America, Confederations Cup and South American World Cup qualifying group in little under four years as coach.

"We're not going to change everything in 15 days just because some people want us to," he said.

"We've created a winning philosophy in the Brazilian team. I ask the Brazilian fans to support us. It doesn't matter if they don't like me, but I ask them to support the team and be patriotic."

Under Dunga, Brazil have turned into a counter-attacking team who base their game on physical strength and ruthless finishing.

Although it has often proved effective, the five-times world champions have lacked ideas when facing teams with packed defences, and during the qualifying competition were held to goalless draws at home by Bolivia, Venezuela and Colombia.

Ronaldinho was dropped by Dunga in April last year after a poor run of form at both international level and for his club AC Milan.

He has had a much improved season for the Serie A club but has not done enough to convince Dunga he deserves a recall.

Former Inter Milan striker Adriano, top scorer last year when Flamengo won the Brazilian championship, has struggled for form and with off-field issues and has played in roughly half his club's games.

"We don't take decisions in one day," Dunga said. "I ponder everything. You get to a point in which you can't lose command of the team because of certain attitudes.

"Adriano plays fantastic football and would have helped us a lot. We have picked him before to put him on the right track, but some things were repeated.

"He's had countless chances to revert the situation but there came a moment when we had to take a decision for the good of the team."

"My heart said one thing but reason said another."

Dunga's choice left Brazil heavily dependent on Kaka for midfield creativity and could leave them short of options if he gets injured.

VfL Wolfsburg striker Grafite, overlooked last year when he was the Bundesliga's top scorer with 28 goals, was included.

The 31-year-old was given a surprise call-up for February's friendly against Ireland, when he made only his second international appearance. His previous was in a friendly against Guatemala in 2005 when he scored his only international goal.

Brazil face Portugal, North Korea and Ivory Coast in Group G, which is one of the toughest pools in the tournament.

Full squad list:

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Doni (AS Roma), Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham Hotspur); Defenders: Maicon (Inter Milan), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Michel Bastos (Olympique Lyon), Gilberto (Cruzeiro), Lucio (Inter Milan), Juan (AS Roma), Luisao (Benfica), Thiago Silva (AC Milan); Midfielders: Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos), Felipe Melo (Fiorentina), Ramires (Benfica), Elano (Galatasaray), Kaka (Real Madrid), Julio Baptista (Roma), Kleberson (Flamengo), Josue (VfL Wolfsburg); Forwards: Robinho (Santos), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla), Nilmar (Villarreal), Grafite (VfL Wolfsburg).

Reuters

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