Pato back in Brazil squad with eye on Olympics

Striker Alexandre Pato was recalled to Brazil's squad on Friday for friendlies in May and June but there was no place for his former AC Milan team-mate Ronaldinho.

Brazil meet Denmark and United States in May and Mexico and arch-rivals Argentina in June with an eye on the Olympic Games football tournament in July and August.

Pato was named in coach Mano Menezes's 23-man squad on Friday which is made up largely of under-23 players as Brazil look to try and win the Olympic gold medal for the first time and complete their collection of top trophies.

Also included were Santos duo Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso who were in scintillating form when the South American champions crushed Bolivar of Bolivia 8-0 on Thursday night to book a place in the Libertadores Cup quarter-finals.

Pato, who has been missing for Brazil since the middle of last year after suffering injuries playing for Milan, is being given the chance to prove he is fit for the London Games.

Menezes held a joint news conference with Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Jose Maria Marin who had controversially said he wanted to see the squad list before it was announced.

Marin said on Friday he had "full confidence" in the coach, adding his list was "intact ... I didn't make any suggestions".

Brazil face Denmark in Hamburg on May 26, the U.S. in Washington on May 30, Mexico in Dallas on June 3 and Argentina in New Jersey on June 9.

Players in the squad who are over 23 are goalkeeper Jefferson and defenders Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo and Daniel Alves. Menezes said he would take the permitted three over-age players to the Games.

Former FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldinho, who played at the 2008 Beijing Olympics for Brazil, was expected to be among the over-age players again for London but his form for Flamengo this year has been patchy.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Neto (Fiorentina), Rafael (Santos)

Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Danilo, Alex Sandro (both Porto), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), David Luiz (Chelsea), Bruno Uvini (Tottenham Hotspur), Juan (Inter Milan).

Midfielders: Casemiro, Lucas (both Sao Paulo), Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur), Romulo (Vasco da Gama), Paulo Henrique Ganso (Santos), Oscar (Internacional), Giuliano (Dnipropetrovsk).

Forwards: Alexandre Pato (AC Milan), Hulk (Porto), Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Neymar (Santos), Wellington Nem (Fluminense).


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