Dunga has left Ronaldinho and Ronaldo out of his squad for Brazil's upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers and the FIFA Confederations Cup, which will begin on 14 June. Thiago Silva and Adriano also missed out on places as the Seleção coach included three players in his squad for the first time - namely goalkeeper Victor, wingback Andre Santos and midfielder Ramires - alongside first-choice players such as Julio Cesar, Juan, Lucio, Kaka, Robinho and Luis Fabiano, and in-form forward Nilmar.
O Fenômeno, who has scored 62 goals in 97 appearances for the country he inspired to Korea/Japan 2002 glory, has excelled for Corinthians since the turn of the year, although doubts have persisted over his capacity to remain free from injury. "Ronaldo is returning from an injury. I don't even think he would feel comfortable in the national team right now," explained Dunga. "He only wants to be called up when he is ready."
Ronaldo is returning from an injury. I don't even think he would feel comfortable in the national team right now.
The three-time FIFA World Player of the Year concurred, although he remains determined to represent Brazil at South Africa 2010. "I'm not prepared," Ronaldo said shortly before the 23-player squad was announced. "In my opinion, this is not the right moment for me to be in the national team, especially after these last three matches in which I had some injury problems."
Form - and not fitness - was what cost Ronaldinho his place in the squad. "We've stuck to our guns and picked players who are doing well at club level," said Dunga. "We have to use common sense to do the best for Brazil. Ronaldinho is going through a difficult period. He needs to play more.
"Hopefully next season he will receive more playing time and rediscover the form that we all know he can. I'm going to do everything possible to help him recover. I have confidence in him, he's a special player. He's having a bad time but I hope he can get over this.
Brazil are currently second in South American Zone qualifying for South Africa 2010, three points behind Paraguay and four clear of fifth-placed Uruguay. The top four will reach the tournament automatically, while the team that finishes fifth will play off against a North, Central America & Caribbean representative for a berth at the 19th edition of the FIFA World Cup.
A Seleção will take on Uruguay in Montevideo on 6 June, before hosting the group leaders four days later in Recife. Then, one day later, they will travel to South Africa ahead of the defence of their FIFA Confederations Cup crown. Brazil have been drawn in Group B alongside USA, Italy and Egypt.
Delight for uncapped trio
With Doni out injured, Tottenham Hotspur's Gomes and Victor of Gremio will deputise for Julio Cesar. The former has come into his own of late after an arduous start to life in the English Premier League, while the latter, 26, was named as the best goalkeeper in the Brasileirao 2008 at the CBF-Rede Globo end-of-season awards.
"I feel for Doni and hope he recovers quickly," said Gomes. "But I'm not sure this was the reason I was called up. I'm in a great phase and when you've been playing well, you always hope for a call-up.
Andre Santos, also 26, has made waves since joining Corinthians in 2008. An exhilarating, prolific left-wingback, he will now rival another of the five Brazil-based players in the squad, Internacional's Kleber, for a place in Dunga's starting line-up.
The 22-year-old Ramires, a midfielder who excels defensively and offensively in equal measure, is one of the hottest properties in South American football and has been central to Cruzeiro's run into the quarter-finals of this year's Copa Libertadores.
I'm happy, this is a dream. I've worked hard for this. Being in the national team opens various doors.
"I'm happy, this is a dream," said Ramires, who was part of the Brazil squad that claimed bronze at the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008 but is, alike Victor and Andre Santos, uncapped at senior level. "The pressure will be far greater than it was in the Olympics. I've worked hard for this."
Capable of operating as a holding midfielder or a playmaker, Ramires does not mind where he is deployed. "I'm not bothered. I'm just happy to have made the squad," he remarked. "It's very important for me. Being in the national team opens various doors."
Nilmar, for his part, has been turning it on for Internacional and recently scored a breathtaking winner, following an improbable dribble past five opponents, in their win at Corinthians in the Brasileirao.
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Gomes (Tottenham Hotspur), Victor (Gremio)
Defenders: Maicon (Inter Milan), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Kleber (Internacional), Andre Santos (Corinthians), Alex (Chelsea), Juan (Roma), Lucio (Bayern Munich), Luisao (Benfica)
Midfielders: Anderson (Manchester United), Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos), Josue (Wolfsburg), Ramires (Cruzeiro), Elano (Manchester City), Felipe Melo (Fiorentina), Julio Baptista (Roma), Kaka (AC Milan)
Forwards: Alexandre Pato (AC Milan), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla), Nilmar (Internacional), Robinho (Manchester City)