Menezes axes Robinho for friendly
Brazil coach Mano Menezes made several high-profile recalls today when he named his squad to face Scotland in a friendly game in London on 27 March.
Inter Milan defenders Lucio and Maicon and Santos midfielder Elano, overlooked since Brazil's quarter-final exit at last year's FIFA World Cup™, all returned to the fold, along with Santos starlet Neymar.
Neymar, 19, missed the 1-0 defeat by France in Brazil's most recent game last month as he was firing his country's U-20 side to glory at the South American Youth Championship in Peru.
Manchester United pair Rafael da Silva and Anderson were both overlooked, the latter due to injury, while AC Milan attacker Robinho was also surprisingly left out of the 24-man squad. "Robinho was included in all the previous squads and he just needs to take a break," explained Menezes at a press conference. "I'll be counting on him at the Copa America. This is just a chance for him to recover."
There was no room either for Real Madrid playmaker and former FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Kaka, despite his return to action following a six-month spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Having been beaten 1-0 by arch-rivals Argentina in November, Brazil will be looking for a first win in three matches as they continue to build towards the Copa America in Argentina in July. The meeting with Scotland, who have not qualified for a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup, will take place at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan/ITA), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Gremio)
Defenders: Andre Santos (Fenerbahce/TUR), Daniel Alves (Barcelona/ESP), David Luiz (Chelsea/ENG), Luisao (Benfica/POR), Lucio, Maicon (both Inter Milan/ITA), Marcelo (Real Madrid/ESP), Thiago Silva (AC Milan/ITA)
Midfielders: Elano (Santos), Elias (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Henrique (Cruzeiro), Jadson (Shaktar Donetsk/UKR), Lucas (Liverpool/ENG), Lucas (Sao Paulo), Ramires (Chelsea/ENG), Renato Augusto (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Sandro (Tottenham/ENG)
Forwards: Alexandre Pato (AC Milan/ITA), Jonas (Valencia/ESP), Neymar (Santos), Nilmar (Villareal/ESP)