RIO DE JANERIO: Veteran striker Ronaldinho was on Thursday handed a surprise recall to the Brazil squad for next monthâs friendly against Ghana, with coach Mano Menezes opening the door to the 2014 World Cup finals.
The 31-year-old, now playing for Flamengo in the Brazilian championship, last played for Brazil in November 2010 after being overlooked for the World Cup in South Africa when his club career at AC Milan began to flag.
But Menezes said Ronaldinho deserves another opportunity in a misfiring Brazil team which has struggled in recent months with a quarter-final exit at the Copa America and a 2-0 loss to Germany in a friendly.
âRonaldinho is a world champion with the Brazil team and after his return to the country he has readjusted and he is playing very well,â said Menezes, of a player who has scored 15 goals in total this season.
âHe is becoming one of the best players of the season and what has been successful with Flamengo can also help the national team.â
Menezes has also recalled Real Madrid defender Marcelo, Cruzeiro goalkeeper Fabio as well as strikers Hulk, of Porto, and Leandro Damiao from Inter Porto Alegre for the match against Ghana at Craven Cottage in London on September 5.
Danilo, a midfielder with the youth team which has reached the world Under-20 final in Colombo, steps up to the senior squad.
After facing Ghana, Brazil will then meet Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico and Gabon in further friendlies before the end of the year.