Rio de Janeiro: A host of big names including Ronaldinho and Kaka have been left out of Brazil’s provisional 23-man World Cup squad, with coach Luiz Felipe Scolari opting for most of the players who won last year’s Confederations Cup on home soil.
Striker Alexandre Pato, Paris Saint-Germain winger Lucas Moura, Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva and Philippe Coutinho were also among the absentees.
Both the 34-year-old Ronaldinho and the 32-year-old Kaka were longshots to make the roster, as the ageing duo has been battling to grab national team roster spots for the past year or so.
The 32-year-old Kaka has totalled seven goals and four assists in Serie A for AC Milan this season while Ronaldinho has continued to inspire Atletico Mineiro with his dazzling performances. Scolari, however, decided to leave them off the team.
Scolari, though, has until June 2 to name his final roster.
Napoli defender Henrique was a surprise inclusion in the squad, which will be aiming to win the title for a record sixth time.
The squad features Barcelona striker Neymar and will be captained by Paris St-Germain defender Thiago Silva. Defender Henrique, who has four caps for Brazil, got the nod ahead of Atletico Madrid’s in-form defender Miranda and PSG’s youngster Marquinhos.
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar, Jefferson, Victor; Defenders: Marcelo, Daniel Alves, Maicon, Maxwell, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Dante, Henrique; Midfielders: Paulinho, Ramires, Willian, Oscar, Hernanes, Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho; Forwards: Bernard, Neymar, Fred, Jo, Hulk