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Ronaldinho out of Brazil-Portugal tie

Reuters
Jun 20, 2007 at 02:54am IST

London: Ronaldinho is injured and will miss Brazil's sell-out game with Portugal on Tuesday but despite the hype Luiz Felipe Scolari said it was just another friendly.

The Portugal coach, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002, is going into the match at Arsenal's Emirates stadium in London with the same mind-set he would have for any other game.

"It will only be a warm-up for the games in March," Scolari said in Portugal.

INJURED AND OUT: Ronaldinho is suffering from a calf muscle problem.

"It is great for us to grow more before we face Belgium and Serbia (in Euro 2008 qualifying games) and gain a little more confidence."

Portugal won their last meeting 2-1 in a friendly in March 2003 and Brazil's chances of hitting back at their old rivals has been hampered by Ronaldinho's withdrawal.

The Barcelona playmaker, who has started only once in five internationals since Dunga replaced Carlos Alberto Parreira as Brazil coach in August, is suffering from a calf muscle problem.

PSV Eindhoven defender Alex Rodrigo will also miss the game with a thigh injury but Dunga, defending an unbeaten record as Brazil coach, has decided not to call up replacements.

He has recalled striker Adriano for the first time since the World Cup but there was again no room in the squad for out-of-sorts Ronaldo, who has just joined AC Milan.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is in the form of his life after scoring his 15th league goal this term in Manchester United's 4-0 Premier League win at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Despite his fantastic recent displays, Scolari thinks the winger can get even better as he matures.

"Today he is one of the great players in the world but for him to be considered one of the best five he still needs to grow a little," he said.

All 60,000 tickets for the friendly have been sold.

Probable teams:

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Daniel Alves, Lucio, Juan, Gilberto, Gilberto Silva, Dudu Cearense, Elano, Kaka, Fred, Robinho.

Portugal: Ricardo, Marco Caneira, Jorge Andrade, Ricardo Carvalho, Miguel, Deco, Armando Petit, Raul Meireles, Cristiano Ronaldo, Simao Sabrosa, Helder Postiga.

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