As shocking as it may seem, new Brazil coach Mano Menezes excluded Inter Milan players Julio Cesar and Douglas Maicon from his 24 man squad that will face the USA next month. The 48 year old only retained 4 players from Dunga’s world cup squad with Robinho being the most notable of them all.
It is very clear that Mano’s main aim is to mould a strong squad for the 2014 World Cup, and although he left out such talented players, i think it was a good decision that he made his intentions very clear.
As much as people would have loved for Ronaldinho, Adriano, Kaka, Maicon and Cesar to feature in the squad, it probably would not have been the best choice for the Selecao.
All these players are above the age of 30 or at least heading in that direction. Being a country blessed with immense talent, it would not have been fair to upcoming stars like Neymar and Ganso who are itching to play for the senior team.
In the spirit of fair play, Menezes did the right thing. Sending this message out bright and early will also prepare the country mentally not to harbour any unrealistic hopes of expecting to see the ‘stars’.
That said, its a shame to see these players bow out ungracefully especially Kaka. Kaka’s transfer to Spanish giants Real Madrid proved to be the worst decision he ever made as he has struggled to replicate his Milan form with Los Blancos. A bout of injuries and inconsistency has resigned the former World Player of the Year to just a pale shadow of himself. An unimpressive world cup 2010 campaign did not make things any better.
Things will not be any easier for Kaka next season as early indications on Mourinho’s strategy might see the 28 year old struggle for playing time. This had led the Brazilian international to be linked with a number of clubs include Chelsea.
As Kaka struggles to redeem himself, the same cannot be said of the Brazilian squad. If anything, they look very impressive. We will only have to wait and see how they perform.
Photo credit: from ahmed khatam – interisti