RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil named all of their “Three R” strikeforce, including Rivaldo, in the squad for next month’s friendly away to China, on Tuesday.
Rivaldo, who forms the much-feared partnership along with Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, had said after the World Cup that he was not sure whether he wanted to keep playing for Brazil.
But in an interview last week, he said he would keep going and fight for a place in the team at Germany in 2006 and his selection on Tuesday has ended immediate doubts over his international future.
The squad was the first named by Carlos Alberto Parreira, who took over for his third stint as Brazil coach earlier this month following Luiz Felipe Scolari’s decision to step down after the World Cup.
Parreira named 19 foreign-based players, 12 of whom were in the squad that won Brazil’s fifth World Cup in Japan and South Korea last year, while three home-based players are due to be named on Feb 5.
Parreira, who led Brazil to their fourth World Cup title in 1994, said his big challenge was to motivate the team.
“We have to start the job with enthusiasm, with optimism. We know about the difficulties we are going to find along the way. It’s not enough to have the best players, we have to have planning as well,” he told a news conference.
“Brazil have already proved on the field that we are the best in the world.
“Our big challenge with each friendly is to convince the players that each team the Selecao (Brazil national team) plays, we have to play with an amateur spirit, with happiness and optimism.”
Parreira also recalled Borussia Dortmund striker Amoroso and Bayern Munich midfielder Ze Roberto, both of whom were considered unlucky to be left out of Scolari’s World Cup squad, but there was no place for Bayern striker Elber.
Bayer Leverkusen defender Juan, dropped before the World Cup, was also picked but the major surprise was the inclusion of Parma’s Adriano, who won his only previous cap as an 18-year-old in a World Cup qualifier at home to Colombia in November 2001.
The match against China, who were outclassed 4-0 during the first round of the World Cup, is Brazil’s first for 2003 as they prepare for the 2006 qualifiers, which are expected to begin in August.
Parreira has previously warned that, with only four of South America’s 10 teams going to Germany, the qualifiers could be more difficult than the Finals themselves.
Brazil have played two matches since the World Cup, losing at home to Paraguay last August and beating South Korea 3-2 away in November.
Goalkeeper: Dida (AC Milan, Italy).
Defenders: Cafu (AS Roma, Italy), Belletti (Villareal, Spain), Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid, Spain), Junior (Parma, Italy), Edmilson (Olympique Lyon, France), Roque Junior (AC Milan), Juan (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany).
Midfielders: Emerson (AS Roma), Gilberto Silva (Arsenal, England), Ze Roberto (Bayern Munich, Germany), Flavio Conceicao (Real Madrid), Juninho Pernambucano (Olympique Lyon).
Forwards: Adriano (Parma), Amoroso (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Denilson (Real Betis, Spain), Rivaldo (AC Milan), Ronaldinho (Paris St Germain, France), Ronaldo (Real Madrid). – Reuters