Rio de Janeiro: Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said Wednesday that the world champions would rest their top players for next month’s Confederations Cup.
Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Cafu and Gilberto Silva were all left out as Parreira named his 11 foreign-based players for the competition in France and the preceding friendly away to Nigeria on June 11.
Defenders Roque Junior and Lucio, who played in the World Cup final against Germany last June, were included after an injury-plagued season as was Paris St Germain midfielder Ronaldinho.
“We’re preserving players who we think need a break,” Parreira said, adding that his priority was the South American qualifying competition for the 2006 World Cup which starts in September.
“The Real Madrid players (Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Flavio Conceicao) and (Arsenal) midfielder Gilberto Silva would not have holidays if they played and we need them for the start of the qualifiers.”
“We want them to return (for next season) with their batteries recharged. Rivaldo has played competition after competition and he doesn't have to prove anything. It’s more important that he’s in one piece for the qualifiers.”
Parreira, whose predecessor Emerson Leao was sacked two years ago after a poor performance at the Confederations Cup, said Brazil were still taking the tournament seriously.