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Date: 01 Jun 2009
Title: Brazil drops Ronaldo, Ronaldinho ahead of Confeds Cup
By Nthambeleni Gabara
Pretoria - The mesmerising skills of two Brazilian soccer stars in the pitch, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho will be missed during the upcoming FIFA Confederations Cup.
According to World Soccer News website, Brazilian coach, Dunga dropped the two talented players from his 23-man squad which will take on Uruguay in Montevideo on 6 June and Paraguay in Recife four days later.
Despite scoring eight goals since joining Corinthians, the 32-year-old and former three-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Ronaldo was dropped because he is still recovering from a serious knee injury.
Ronaldo is the former AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven and Real Madrid striker.
The AC Milan midfielder, Ronaldinho has been out of form at both the club and the national team lately.
His 2007-08 campaign as a whole was plagued by injuries, and a muscle tear in his right leg on 3 April last year, prematurely ended his season.
Prior to his move to Milan, he played for Paris Saint-Germain, and FC Barcelona, with whom he won his first Champions League in 2006.
Ronaldinho was identified as a rising star at the 1997 U-17 World Championship in Egypt, in which he scored two goals on penalty kicks.
Ronaldinho participated in his first FIFA World Cup in 2002, as part of a formidable offensive unit with Ronaldo and Rivaldo.
He captained Brazil to its second Confederations Cup title in 2005, and was named Man of the Match in a 4-1 victory over archrivals Argentina in the final on 29 June. Ronaldinho scored three goals in the tournament.
Ronaldinho was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2004. In 2005, Ronaldinho received his second consecutive honour of FIFA World Player of the Year, beating Chelsea's Frank Lampard and fellow Barcelona player Samuel Eto'o.
The Brazilian national team is the most successful national football team in the history of the World Cup, with five championships (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002).
The dropping of Ronaldo and Ronaldinho and their unexciting football at the global events under the mentorship of the former national team player, Dunga might give the 2008 African Cup of Nations Champions, Egypt chance to win when the two lock horns at the FIFA Confederations Cup at Free State Stadium on 15 June.
Brazil has been drawn in Group B alongside USA and the 2006 FIFA World Cup winner, Italy. They will play the two teams at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.
Brazil is consistently among the strongest football nations in the world and is the only team to have played in every World Cup.
Appearing on the list of 23 players to take on Egypt during the Confederations Cup will include goalkeepers, Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Gomes (Tottenham Hotspur) and Victor (Gremio).
The defenders will comprise of Maicon (Inter Milan), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Alex (Chelsea), Juan (AS Roma), Lucio (Bayern Munich), Luisao (Benfica), Kleber (Internacional) and Andre Santos (Corinthians).
The midfielders will include Anderson (Manchester United), Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos), Josue (VfL Wolfsburg), Ramires (Cruzeiro), Elano (Manchester City), Felipe Melo (Fiorentina), Julio Baptista (AS Roma) and Kaka (AC Milan).
The strikers will include Alexandre Pato (AC Milan), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla), Nilmar (Internacional), and all eyes will be on Robinho (Manchester City), who is Brazil's star player.
The eight-team tournament will be played in Pretoria Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Free State Stadium, Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg and at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in the North West Province.
The Confederations Cup teams include the host country, South Africa, the 2008 African Cup of Nations champions, Egypt, Brazil, Spain, 2008 Oceania Nations Cup, New Zealand, 2006 FIFA World Cup winner, Italy, USA and Iraq.
The official opening match of the Confederations Cup will be between the host (South Africa) and Iraq at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on 14 June.
The finals of the major tournament which is a prelude to the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be played on 28 June. - BuaNews