27th February, 2012
Brazil will take on Bosnia in their first friendly of the year on Wednesday in the Swiss town of St Gallen with Ronaldinho and Neymar in their ranks but without Real Madrid midfielder Kaka, reports AFP.
Kaka did play in the final two games of 2011 for the auriverde — wins over Gabon and Egypt — but while coach Mano Menezes insists he respects the player’s abilities, he said: “I’m not going to give an explanation for every player not selected.”
Menezes wants to go through various permutations in the two years before the five-time world champions host the World Cup, hence he can afford to use Wednesday as a test for some home-based players, including Neymar.
Ronaldinho, who is approaching 32, is still showing flashes of his old brilliance with Flamengo and hopes that he is not yet destined for the international scrapheap.
The squad arrived in Switzerland on Sunday and Menezes noted that “Bosnia are a quality rival, who only just missed out on a berth at the Euro 2012 finals”.
The Bosnians, currently ranked 19th in the world, just failed to gain a place in Poland and Ukraine when, having been pipped by France in the group, they lost a two-legged play-off to Portugal.
Brazil are currently only seventh in the FIFA standings.
As World Cup hosts, they have no qualifiers to go through and are therefore honing their preparations for 2014 in friendly matches.
There are matches to come later this year against Denmark, the United States, Mexico and Argentina, while they are also targeting a strong Olympic showing in London, having never landed gold to date.
Bosnia coach Safet Susic has called up Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko and also Vedad Ibisevic of Stuttgart as he targets a shock win.
“I am counting on my best players for Brazil — we need them,” Susic told reporters.