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Menezes Names 24 Man Squad For August Friendly

In his first major action as Brazil coach, Mano Menezes has released the names of his 24 man squad that will face the USA in a friendly next month. I have to warn you though, it is not short of surprises. Of course what everyone wants to know is whether Dinho made the cut.

Unfortunately the Milan star along with Ronaldo and Adriano were not so lucky. However, what is even more surprising is the fact that Kaka, and Inter’s treble winning goalie Julio Cesar are not in the squad. Now, i know that this is a new era in Brazilian football however, that does not mean you cut off your key players.

Although hard to believe, i can understand why Kaka did not make the cut, however, Cesar’s exclusion is just baffling! The Inter Milan custodian has been the rock of the Selecao’s defense since 2006 and i believe he still has a lot left in him.

Kaka’s position has been taken up by Liverpool midfielder Lucas. I do not see any logical reasons behind such a decision but that’s just my opinion. Meanwhile, Benfica midfielder Ramires has also been retained.

The good news is that Pato, Neymar and Ganso have all been included in the squad so we can at least expect some entertainment. Menezes made this announcement when speaking to the press on Monday. During the conference, Menezes also reiterated the gravity of his job and thanked all who were behind his selection.

“I know that from this moment I occupy one of the most important positions in this country,” he said. “We hope to build a Selecao capable of representing on the pitch all our ambitions and dreams.

“The task is difficult but we have to make sure that we will have a lot of drive to do it. Thank you for the confidence”.

Menezes full list is below

Goalkeepers: Victor (Gremio), Renan (Avai), Jefferson (Botafogo)

Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Rafael (Manchester United), Andre Santos (Fenerbahce), Marcelo (Real Madrid), David Luiz (Benfica), Henrique (Racing), Rever (Atletico-MG), Thiago Silva (Milan)

Midfielders: Sandro (Internacional), Ramires (Benfica), Lucas (Liverpool), Jucilei (Corinthians), Ganso (Santos), Ederson (Lyon), Hernanes (Sao Paulo), Carlos Eduardo (Hoffenheim)

Forwards: Robinho (Santos), Diego Tardelli (Atletico-MG), Alexandre Pato (Milan), Andre (Santos), Neymar (Santos)

With the 2014 World Cup being Mano’s main focus, he is not taking any chances with his selection. Next month’s friendly will be the yardstick he uses to gauge which players he considers best to be his regular starting 11.

I at least habour a glimmer of hope that Dinho will feature for the Selecao at some point, however, this is a pretty good start for Brazil.

Photo credit: from diogo.franca