Wednesday 29 March 2017

No Brazil call for Kaka

Real Madrid playmaker Kaka has not been included in Mano Menezes' 23-man Brazil squad ahead of next month's friendly international against France.

Kaka returned to the Madrid first team earlier this month after seven months on the sidelines following knee surgery, but Menezes has decided the 28-year-old should remain in Spain.

Young star Neymar was also excluded for the match on February 9 in Paris as he is playing at the South American Championship with the Under-20 side in Peru.

Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar returns to the group - for the first time under Menezes - but his club-mates Lucio and Maicon miss out.

Midfielders Renato Augusto and Jadson, who play at Bayer Leverkusen and Shakhtar Donetsk respectively, and Dynamo Kiev forward Andre are the surprise names in Menezes' list.

The coach decided not to call any home-based players as pre-season is just starting in Brazil.

"Our players would suffer in the next games and would play rivals in a different form," he said.

"It is important for us to have the same form, the same physical condition. Brazilian teams are playing Copa Libertadores matches the same day.

"Anyway, we are not going to France with a weak team at all."

Menezes named six England-based players in the squad - Tottenham pair Heurelho Gomes and Sandro, Manchester United duo Rafael and Anderson, Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva and Chelsea's Ramires.

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