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This blog reflects on soccer qua football all over the world. The blog has a specific investment in attractive, attacking football and, as such, focuses on Brazil, the most emphatic historical exponent of the beautiful game.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mano Announces Brazil Squad for Scotland Friendly

Mano Menezes announced a predictably surprising roster for Brazil's March 27 friendly against Scotland that omitted Robinho, Ronaldinho and Kaka, but recalled World Cup stars Maicon, Lucio and Elano. Citing an immediate need to prepare a squad for the July 2011 Copa America tournament in Argentina, Menezes noted that his squad selection was consistent with his larger philosophy of giving experience to new players and preparing for the possibility that Kaka and Ronaldinho may not be in full form and fitness for the 2014 World Cup. Neymar replaces Robinho up front while Sao Paulo's Lucas has received his first call-up to the national team after a sparking performance in the South America U-20 championships. The midfield features a mouthwatering combination of Liverpool's Lucas, Ramires, Sandro, Henrique, Elias, Elano, Renato Augusto, Jadson and Sao Paulo's Lucas. It will be anyone's guess as to who Mano starts in midfield given the creative power of Elano and the ability of Sao Paulo's Lucas to come forward and score goals. One has to give Mano credit for sticking with his guns and replacing, almost carte blanche, Dunga's midfield quartet of Kaka, Elano, Gilberto Silva and Felipe Melo. The immediate sense we get from this squad selection is that Mano has opted to go with 2 strikers and some kind of attacking midfield combination wherein one or more midfielders has the license to come forward and score goals.

Dani Alves (Barcelona)
Maicon (Inter)
André Santos (Fenerbahçe)
Marcelo (Real Madrid
Lúcio (Inter)
Thiago Silva (Milan)
David Luiz (Chelsea)
Luisão (Benfica)

Lucas (Liverpool)
Ramires (Chelsea)
Sandro (Tottenham)
Elias (Atlético Madrid)
Elano (Santos)
Renato Augusto (Bayer Leverkusen)
Jadson (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Lucas (Sao Paulo)
Henrique (Cruzeiro)

Alexandre Pato (Milan)
Neymar (Santos)
Nilmar (Villarreal)
Jonas (Valencia)

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