Rio de Janeiro: Kaka has kept his place in the Brazil squad after his impressive return last month but Shakhtar Donetsk players were again overlooked by coach Mano Menezes. Menezes, naming his squad for next month's friendly against Colombia in the United States, also declined to give Ronaldinho another chance despite some good recent performances for Atletico Mineiro in the Brazilian championship.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said the match, at the Metlife stadium in New Jersey on November 14, would be Brazil's 1,000th although it was not clear if this included fixtures against club and representative teams. Kaka scored in both the 6-0 win over Iraq and the 4-0 win against Japan last month as he made his international comeback after an absence of more than two years, forming an impressive partnership with Oscar in midfield.
"The combination of Oscar and Kaka gave us more tactical variations," Menezes told reporters after announcing his squad. "We were very complete. You can't just think about the attacking side and the team was good in winning back the ball and this requires the participation of everyone, including Oscar and Kaka." Ukrainian champions Shakhtar won their first 12 league games of the season and raised eyebrows as they drew with Juventus and beat Chelsea in the Champions League, inspired by Brazilian quartet Willian, Fernandinho, Alex Teixeira and Luiz Adriano.
However, none of them are well known in their homeland and their combined international experience has been limited to two appearances last year by Willian and five for Fernandinho. Brazilian coaches have rarely picked players based with Eastern European clubs, even when they have experience in European competitions.
Zenit forward Hulk and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk midfielder Giuliano were the only two players from the region in Menezes' squad on Tuesday. On the other hand, the squad included nine Brazilian-based players. Ronaldinho last played for Brazil in the 2-1 win over Bosnia in February and Menezes implied that the former Barcelona and AC Milan forward had already had his chance.
"When you are in charge of a complicated process such as this one with so many players to observe, you can't afford to go around in circles and end up at the same place where you started," said Menezes.
Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Diego Alves (Valencia)
Defenders: Adriano (Barcelona), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Fabio Santos (Corinthians), David Luiz (Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Paris St Germain), Leandro Castan (AS Roma), Rever (Atletico Mineiro)
Midfielders: Arouca (Santos), Paulinho (Corinthians), Ramires (Chelsea), Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur), Giuliano (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Thiago Neves (Fluminense), Oscar (Chelsea), Kaka (Real Madrid), Lucas (Sao Paulo)
Forwards: Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg), Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Neymar (Santos)