Dunga turns down Ronaldinho, Kaka’s request


Rio de Janeiro : Brazil national coach Dunga named Ronaldinho and Kaka in the team for the friendly games against England and Turkey next month, turning down the players' request to exempt them from the list of players.

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Barcelona's Ronaldinho and Milan's Kaka had officially requested to exempt them from playing the Copa America in Venezuela June 26 – July 15, but Dunga still wants to have them for preparatory games and included them in the team Thursday.

"In principle, they are excluded from the Copa America, but we have to think of what's best for the national team. We will virtually not have time to train for those games, and that is why we will rely on a base that has already been laid," the coach said.

Dunga stressed that he would have liked to have Ronaldinho and Kaka for the continental tournament too, but did not question their long-term commitment to the national team.

"I think they have a commitment to the national team. Every player needs some time to recover, and we have to respect that," he said.

Dunga only called five other players who were in the Brazilian squad that was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Germany 2006 World Cup – striker Robinho, midfielders Gilberto Silva and Mineiro, and defenders Juan and Gilberto.

"After what happened in the World Cup, the wound is still open for Brazilian fans. Now, we have to build the spirit of a Brazilian national team in this group," the coach noted.

There are three further surprises in the list that Dunga made public in Rio de Janeiro – Sao Paulo defender Alex Silva, Heerenveen striker Afonso Alves and CSKA forward Jo. The three are set to make their debut with the Brazilian national team.

Dunga will face a crucial test in Venezuela, following a World Cup that was regarded as a failure for five-times world champion Brazil.

The former player, who was Brazil's captain when the South American country won its fourth World Cup in 1994 in the US, has steered the star-studded squad in nine friendlies, with seven victories (including one over arch-rival Argentina) and only one defeat (against Portugal).

Ricardo Teixeira, president of the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF), said Thursday that Dunga will stay in charge of the national team until the 2010 World Cup, no matter what happens in the Copa America.

"If Brazil qualifies for the World Cup, Dunga will stay with us till the end. The result of the Copa America, the results in friendlies or any other tournament will have no influence on the CBF," he stressed.