Fred earns Brazil recall for friendlies

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil playmaker Kaka has been overlooked for the Copa America while striker Fred earned another shot at the tournament when he was named in coach Mano Menezes's squad on Thursday.

Menezes, who also left out Ronaldinho, picked 28 players for friendlies at home to Netherlands and Romania next month from which he will draw his squad for the tournament being hosted by Argentina in July.

"During the period of the Copa America, Kaka will still need to do some activities related to his recovery so we concluded in a recent chat with him that it was still not the time for a call-up," Menezes told a news conference.

Kaka has made a disappointing comeback from knee surgery for Real Madrid this year and not managed to reclaim a first team place.

Menezes said the only player not in the squad to defend the title that he would wait for until the last minute was Santos playmaker Paulo Henrique Ganso who has a thigh injury.

"We're following the player's recovery so we can decide at the right moment. He is the only player not among these 28 who can be called for the Copa America," Menezes said.


Former Olympique Lyon striker Fred, in consistently good form since last season when he led Fluminense to the Brazilian championship title, last played for Brazil in a friendly against Chile in March 2007.

The 27-year-old was in Brazil's squad at the 2007 Copa America in Venezuela but did not play after breaking a foot in training.

Midfielder Thiago Neves, who helped Flamengo win the Carioca (Rio) state championship on May 1, was also recalled for the matches against Netherlands in Goiania on June 4 and Romania in Sao Paulo three days later.

Brazil last met the Dutch in their 2010 World Cup quarter-final when they were upset 2-1, while the Sao Paulo friendly will double as former World Cup-winning striker Ronaldo's farewell match.

"There is no climate of revenge," said Menezes, who succeeded World Cup coach Dunga. "A victory won't erase the past result and that's not what we want. We're looking to prepare for what we have ahead.

"(In Sao Paulo) Ronaldo will come on midway through the first half and the height of his party will be at the interval. I'm very happy to be able to take part in that moment."

Goalkeepers: Victor (Gremio), Jefferson (Botafogo), Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Fabio (Cruzeiro).

Defenders: Lucio, Maicon (both Inter Milan), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), David Luiz (Chelsea), Luisao (Benfica), Andre Santos (Fenerbahce), Daniel Alves, Adriano (both Barcelona).

Midfielders: Lucas (Sao Paulo), Lucas Leiva (Liverpool), Elano (Santos), Elias (Atletico Madrid), Henrique (Cruzeiro), Jadson (Shakhtar Donetsk), Ramires (Chelsea), Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur), Thiago Neves (Flamengo), Anderson (Manchester United).

Forwards: Alexandre Pato, Robinho (both AC Milan), Neymar (Santos), Nilmar (Villarreal), Fred (Fluminense), Leandro Damiao (Internacional).