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Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 17:01 UK

Ronaldinho gets Olympics go-ahead

Ronaldinho and Robinho
Ronaldinho and Robinho are the star attractions in the Brazil squad

AC Milan will allow Ronaldinho to play for Brazil at the Olympics when he completes his move to the San Siro.

Barcelona refused Ronaldinho permission to take part in the Games in August after he was named as one of three overage players in coach Dunga's squad.

But Milan, who agreed the 28-year-old's transfer from Barca on Wednesday, will not stand in his way.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani confirmed: "We'll respect the agreement

that was made before his transfer."

Ronaldinho agreed a move to Italy after becoming surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp.

He was criticised for being overweight at Barcelona but Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said the Olympics offered the player "a chance to get back in shape."

Ancelotti added: "When he returns he'll be ready and he'll only require the time to adapt to our system."

Real Madrid forward Robinho was named Brazil's 18-man squad, while Manchester United midfielder Anderson is one of three Premier League players selected.

AC Milan have already told Brazil that they will not allow their star midfielder Kaka, 26, to play in the Olympics.

And Fifa have clarified that clubs are only obliged to release players younger than 23 for Beijing.

A Fifa statement read: "In view of the importance of the Olympic tournament for the entire sporting movement in general and football in particular, as well as on the basis of customary law, the release of players younger than 23 has always been mandatory for all clubs.

"For Beijing 2008 the same principle shall apply. This is not a new position and the regulations have not changed.

"Regarding the three players who are over 23 and selected by their member associations, the release of these players is not compulsory according to the Fifa regulations."

The Olympics do not feature in the Fifa calendar and there are no special rulings on the issue, so the club is not obliged to release its players

Barcelona statement
The Olympics is the only significant title Brazil have never won and, subsequently, a number of star players have been called up for the football tournament which takes place at the games between 6-24 August.

Along with Anderson, Manchester City's new record signing Jo and Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva were also selected and will miss the start of the Premier League season.

"The Olympics do not feature in the Fifa calendar and there are no special rulings on the issue, so the club is not obliged to release its players," said a statement released on the club's website on Tuesday.

"In recent weeks, sports director Txiki Begiristain has consistently stated that Barcelona's objective is to have the maximum number of players available for the Champions League qualifier."

The Brazilians won the Olympic silver medal twice, in 1984 in Los Angeles and 1988 in Seoul and they won the bronze in 1996 in Atlanta.

Brazil are in Group C with Belgium, China and New Zealand and begin their campaign on 8 August against Belgium.

Coach Dunga picked Fluminense defender Thiago Silva as the third player older than 23 in the squad, in addition to Ronaldinho and Robinho.

"The experience factor can be decisive in the Olympics," Dunga said.

"That's why several players born in 1985 were chosen, and even the youngsters already have international experience."

Goalkeepers: Diego Alves (Almeria), Renan (Internacional). Defenders: Ilsinho (Shakhtar Donetsk), Rafinha (Shalke), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Alex Silva (Sao Paulo), Breno (Bayern Munich), Thiago Silva (Fluminense).
Midfielders: Anderson (Manchester United), Diego (Werder Bremen); Hernanes (Sao Paulo), Lucas (Liverpool), Ronaldinho (FC Barcelona), Thiago Neves (Fluminense).
Forwards: Alexandre Pato (AC Milan), Jo (Manchester City), Rafael Sobis (Real Betis), Robinho (Real Madrid).

see also
Ronaldinho to sign for AC Milan
16 Jul 08 |  Europe
Man City hopeful over Ronaldinho
03 Jul 08 |  Man City
Mascherano gets Olympics call-up
03 Jul 08 |  Football
Man City complete record Jo deal
03 Jul 08 |  Man City
Barca confirm star trio can leave
17 Jun 08 |  Football

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