Kaka still has Brazil future
04 March 2014, 22:02
Johannesburg - Although left out of the squad for Wednesday night's international friendly against Bafana Bafana, Brazil's Kaka and Ronaldinho have not been ruled out of contention for the forthcoming World Cup.
"There is no doubt that they have rightly been immortalised among the legendary and most charismatic of Brazil's players and there is no doubting their unique talents," Brazil's assistant coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
"At the same time, when the world cup squad is finalised we will have to weigh up Kaka and Ronaldinho's capabilities of the present -- and not the past -- and what kind of contribution they can make to the overall bid for another world cup title.
"In this context, I can confirm they have not been ruled out of world cup selection, in spite of not being called up to play in South Africa."
The former Brazil and Bafana coach is filling the supporting role of technical director to current coach Luiz Felipe Scolari as the five-times world champions bid for a sixth title on home soil.
Kaka and Ronaldinho are among a handful of world soccer legends who have been elevated to the status of World Footballer of the Year by Fifa during their illustrious careers.
"Remember there are 19 players in the Brazil squad in South Africa and 23 are nominated for the world cup. So there are four more places to fill.
"Some players, of course, are near-certainties, but for others their form in the next two months will be critical.
"I think you can place Kaka and Ronaldinho in this category. They have both had problems in recent years, notably the spate of injuries Kaka suffered while playing for Real Madrid.
"But in the last six months, there have been signs of a revival in form."
Ronaldinho helped his Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro to finish third in the World Club Championship finals in December while Kaka has been in good form since returning to AC Milan.
The uncompromising Scolari left out the legendary Romario from the squad which won the 2002 Fifa World Cup in Japan and South Korea, despite a nationwide outcry.
Ironically, it was Ronaldinho who was one of the main stars of the 2002 team, with his 40-metre goal against England still considered one of the most notable in world cup history.
But at the age of 34, will the Scolari-Parreira brain trust give him the opportunity to repeat the feat? Kaka, meanwhile, will be 32 when the 2014 World Cup is staged in Brazil in June and July.