RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil appear not to have learned one of the lessons of their attempt to win a first Olympic Games football crown at Beijing in 2008.
Manager Dunga included 2002 World Cup-winner in his squad, hoping that the then 28-year-old would make a telling difference as one of three permitted over-age players in the under-23 tournament.
Instead the strategy backfired because the overweight Ronaldinho slowed down the pace of Brazil’s game. They lost to ultimate gold-medal winners Argentina – with younger and sharper Leo Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria – in the semi-finals and went home with ‘only’ bronze.
Despite that, four years later, Ronaldinho – now with Flamengo and 32 next week – has been included by current coach Mano Menezes in Brazil’s 52-strong preliminary squad for London 2012. Other senior players include Chelsea defender David Luiz, Barcelona’s Dani Alves, Internazionale goalkeeper Julio Cesar, Milan defender Thiago Silva and Porto forward Hulk.
Younger stars named are Santos’ South American Footballer of the Year Neymar, Milan forward Alexandre Pato, Manchester United fullback Rafael da Silva and Tottenham midfielder Sandro.
The squad must be reduced to 18 players for the Games between July 26 to August 11.
Squad: Adriano (Barcelona), Alex Sandro (Porto), Alexandre Pato (Milan), Allan (Vasco), Andre (Atletico Mineiro), Bernard (Atletico Mineiro), Bruno Uvini (Tottenham), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Danilo (Porto), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dede (Vasco), Diego Alves (Valencia), Douglas Costa (Shaktar Donetsk), Dudu (Dynamo Kiev), Elias (Sporting), Elkeson (Botafogo), Fagner (Vasco), Fernandinho (Shaktar Donetsk), Fernando (Gremio), Gabriel (Cruzeiro), Gabriel Silva (Novara), Galhardo (Flamengo), Paulo Henrique Ganso (Santos), Giuliano (Dnipro), Henrique (Granada), Hernanes (Lazio), Hulk (Porto), Jefferson (Botafogo), Jonas (Valencia), Juan (Internazionale), Julio Cesar (Internazionale), Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Lucas (Sao Paulo), Lucas Mendes (Coritiba), Luisao (Benfica), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (Corinthians), Neto (Fiorentina), Neymar (Santos), Oscar (Internacional), Philippe Coutinho (Espanyol), Rafael (Manchester United), Rafael Cabral (Santos), Renan Ribeiro (Atletico Mineiro), Romario (Internacional), Romulo (Vasco), Ronaldinho Gaucho (Flamengo), Sandro (Tottenham), Thiago Silva (Milan), Wellington Nem (Fluminense), Willian Jose (Sao Paulo).
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