Ronaldinho hopes for another tilt at glory

Ronaldinho hopes for another tilt at glory

Football: World Cup: Dunga to name Brazilian squad for SA today

Ronaldinho hopes for another tilt at glory


Brazilians will also discover whether coach Dunga is prepared to gamble on Santos youngsters Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso, who have this year shown the sort of flair which was missing in goalless World Cup qualifying draws at home to Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela.

Dunga is required only to name a provisional 30-man squad on Tuesday but the gruff former World Cup captain has decided to name his definitive 23 to avoid the speculation which would inevitably follow over who gets dropped.

"I'm ready to go to the World Cup," Ronaldinho, who has scored 13 Serie A goals this season and created another 17, said in a TV interview at the weekend. "I know that I'm just one of Dunga's options, but I'm ready."

The ever-grinning Ronaldinho has not played for Brazil since the World Cup qualifier against Peru in April last year. At the time, he was barely figuring for his club and, after some lacklustre performances for his country, Dunga took the difficult step of dropping him.

Ronaldinho also disappointed at the Beijing Olympics the year before when he was included as an over-age player in the under-23 competition, which saw Brazil lose 3-0 to arch-rivals Argentina in the semifinals.

Dunga, who has made hard work and commitment his watch-words since taking over after the 2006 World Cup, appeared less than enthusiastic when commenting on Ronaldinho's prospects after a 2-0 win over Ireland in a friendly in March. "He's had his chance for Brazil, now it's up to the coaching staff to make the decision," said the former World Cup captain.

Ronaldinho was one of Brazil's biggest let-downs in 2006, when the five-times champions were knocked out in the quarterfinals by France, although many felt he was played out of position.
"Last time we spoke, he told me that he wasn't going to pick me and then put me on the bench, and he told me to get in shape," said Ronaldinho. "Now, I'm in shape."