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Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Brazil star Ronaldinho doubtful for World Cup squad

Brazilian Ronaldinho has played 87 times for his country

Ronaldinho could miss the World Cup after being omitted from Brazil's final warm-up friendly ahead of the summer tournament in South Africa.

He will not face Ireland at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in London on 2 March.

The AC Milan star, 29, has not played for Brazil since the start of 2009, but his improved recent form has encouraged supporters to call for his return.

But coach Dunga has resisted pressure from the fans and local media in Brazil to recall the ex-Barcelona forward.

The 1994 World Cup winning captain has kept faith with Michel Bastos (Lyon), Juan and Doni (both Roma), Kleberson (Flamengo) and Gilberto (Cruzeiro).

Former Manchester City forward Robinho, who is now on-loan at Santos, has been included in the squad as has Liverpool midfielder Lucas. But there is no place for Manchester United midfielder Anderson.

Ronaldinho won the World Cup in 2002 and famously knocked out England at that tournament after lobbing keeper David Seaman with a second-half free-kick.

Brazil legend Pele was another who called for Ronaldinho to return to the fold.

Ronaldinho has appeared 87 times for his country, scoring 32 times.

He was also twice named World player of the year in 2004 and 2005 and has won the prestigious Ballon d'Or (european player of the year) once.

Brazil squad to face Ireland:

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Doni (Roma).

Defenders: Maicon (Inter Milan), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Gilberto (Cruzeiro), Michel Bastos (Lyon), Juan (Roma), Lucio (Inter Milan), Luisao (Benfica), Thiago Silva (AC Milan).

Midfielders: Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos), Josue (Wolfsburg), Felipe Melo (Juventus), Lucas (Liverpool), Kaka (Real Madrid), Ramires (Benfica), Elano (Galatasaray), Julio Baptista (Roma), Kleberson (Flamengo).

Forwards: Robinho (Santos), Adriano (Flamengo), Nilmar (Villarreal), Luis Fabiano (Seville).

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see also
Ronaldinho excited by Milan move
17 Jul 08 |  Europe
Ronaldinho move to Milan in doubt
21 Apr 08 |  Football
Inter join chase for Ronaldinho
13 Apr 08 |  Europe
Ronaldinho agent cools exit talk
08 Apr 08 |  Man City
Ronaldinho dismisses Chelsea link
02 Oct 07 |  Chelsea

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