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Posted by Gustavo Faldon on 04/24/2010

Brazil's national team manager, Dunga, might already have in his mind the 23 players that will go to South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, he has been hearing a lot from Brazilian fans lately. The reason for that a couple of months ago was Ronaldinho, now is Santos FC's youngsters Neymar, 18, and Paulo Henrique, 20, nicknamed "Goose".

It is a fact that Santos has been playing the best soccer in Brazil by far. They combine the talent of young players with the experience of some veterans like Robinho. But, though the Manchester City's winger has scored eight goals in 13 matches this year, he is not the main character in this squad. Neymar and "Goose" are.

In 2010, Santos have already scored 92 goals in 26 matches. That's an average of 3.53 goals per game. Neymar, who plays in the forward position, scored 21 times in the same 21 matches he has played so far, including in very important classics against rivals São Paulo and Corinthians. While Paulo Henrique, started 22 games and scored 12 goals and is the "maestro" in the team's midfield .

With the success of the Santos team, that will play against Santo André this Sunday and the next one seeking the São Paulo state title, fans and journalists have been claiming both Neymar and "Goose" to be in Brazil's national team for the World Cup, though they have never been called upon to represent their country before.

Both youngsters have had a lot of success this season, but manager Dunga has said a lot of times that there will be no surprises in his list for the World Cup. "There is no chance of surprises. I will select players based on my work for the last three and a half years", said the captain of Brazil's 94 World Cup title. Meanwhile, their teamate Robinho has a guaranteed spot in the starting lineup of Brazil's team in South Africa.

Both Paulo Henrique and Neymar will have a great chance to prove Dunga wrong this Sunday and the next one. Maybe with their first title the manager can change his mind. We will know the answer on may 11th, when Brazil's 2010 World Cup squad will be announced


Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 04/27/2010

Hey Gustavo, I'm the AC Milan Correspondent. I'm very upset about the exclusion of Ronaldinho/Pato from the squad. Also Thiago Silva should be starting alongside Lucio. Unfortunately for fans who are used to watching Brazils beautiful game, they are led by a coach who is modeling the team after his own characteristics back when he player: Defensive minded, tough, gritty.

With the way Ronnie has been performing for us, it would be a shame to see him left out of the squad.

Posted by Brandon Ringer on 04/27/2010

Ronldinho For WORLD CUP... No way is Elano, Diego, Batista better then Ronaldo. Not really worried if Pato makes it because Adriano, Luis Fabiano, should suffice. Question though, why didn't Grafite and Amauri get a look at though. It puzzles me.

Posted by Anonymous on 04/27/2010

Erm, AC Milan are not winnning. I cant imagine how Ronaldinho can be included in the Brazilian squard. But Pato's exclusion comes as a surprise to me

Posted by cantona7 on 04/27/2010

hi Bonetti and Gustavo

I like Ronaldinho. To me, he has the best football skills and the most talented in this world who is still playing. But i think Ronaldinho can only blame himself for the omission because of his bad attitude in the few past seasons. As much as i would love to see him in this world cup, he is a bad example for others. My conclusion is, Ronaldinho has let so many of his fans and football fans down with his attitude, so he does not deserve a place in this World Cup. Ronaldinho, thank you for the memories.

Posted by Johnny on 04/27/2010

screw that if Dunga can put together a team without Ronnie all the better. Pato should go but Ronnie can be a malcontent. So what if Brazil dont play the "beautiful game" if they win eh?

Posted by Paul on 04/27/2010

While, I am not apt to agree completely with the previous comment about Ronaldinho, I would be completely surprised to not see Thiago Silva and Pato included in the squad going to South Africa. They have both demonstrated that they can play in the big games and can be successful, especially Pato.

I dare say that Brazil will not win the World Cup if Pato is not taken. He brings an added element that no other striker on the Brazilian squad possesses in such abundance, PACE.

Posted by Paul on 04/27/2010

While, I am not apt to agree completely with the previous comment about Ronaldinho, I would be completely surprised to not see Thiago Silva and Pato included in the squad going to South Africa. They have both demonstrated that they can play in the big games and can be successful, especially Pato.

I dare say that Brazil will not win the World Cup if Pato is not taken. He brings an added element that no other striker on the Brazilian squad possesses in such abundance, PACE.

Posted by Ravi on 04/27/2010

Dear Mr Dunga,
Surely you cannot leave Pato out of your squad while you retain the mercurial Robinho!!!!!

Posted by KluivertsBoots on 04/27/2010

Dunga wants players who will work hard in all phases. He wants players who will work just as hard to win the ball back as they do to score.

Ronaldinho has always been a one phase player, and that's what ultimately led to his dismissal from Barcelona and Brasil. Guardiola offered Dinho a chance to stay if he would change and it was rejected.

Neymar and Paulo Henrique are very talented, but their time with the Selecao will come later. I watched Neymar's five goal haul the other day and I've never seen an easier match- almost all tap ins. There are more seasoned players in Dunga's pecking order for now. I don't particularly enjoy Dunga's style, but he should not be faulted for it. He was hired to do a job, and he is doing exactly that.

Posted by Kefentse on 04/27/2010

I hear what you are trying to say about Pato, but really do you leave out the likes of Fabiano, Robino, Nilmar, Grafite? I do agree that maybe Pato should be ahead of Adriano and Hulk. Just look at Wagner Love he played great in the Copa Amaerica and was the leading scorer in Russia and still couldn't get pick. And for Ronaldinho totally NO...his time has passed give Kaka, Ramires, Bastos a chance. As long as Anderson, Elano, etc. are not picked

Posted by Gerson on 04/27/2010

Gustavo, I've seen Neymar play a few times this year and he is incredible, yes, but I too have to vouch for Dhino. I understand that his behavior off the pitch might be at the center of Dunga's decision and it is understood. But I believe that he has modified his behavior to be performing at the level he is for Milan. Ronaldhino by far has been the best player on the pitch for Milan for most of the season. His accurate assists have help Pato socre, Seidorff, and others. He still comands double teams that free up other offensive players and his hat trick a few months back was of Barcelona proportions. I think he needs at least a look at. Given a chance to perform with the team, and see how he fits.

Posted by Dave on 04/27/2010

With a team like brazil there will always be pontification on who should have been included and who was left out.

I think the coach has got to make the best choice on his available personnel and the style he wishes to play to counter the opponents style.
Beautiful football is Brazil's trademark, but if the rest of the world ahs caught up in term of skill and conditioning then adaptations must be made in order to keep progressing.

Hopefully Dunga has the right formula.

Posted by Anonymous on 04/28/2010

i hate soccer!!!

Posted by gemat on 04/28/2010

Ronnie, exceptionally gifted but has his time passed? Hope not, I would give both Ronnie and Pato a look in, Dunga is modelling on his strengths of hard grit and determination (Lucio for captain?). It worked for him in his playing days because he complemented the fantasy players around him which made the right mix. If he goes too gritty then Brazil will lose something, they will become another Germany good enough to go far but found lacking at the final hurdle. There will be a time in qtr/semi final when a draw is on the cards and some flair from Ronnie (watching in the stands) would be deeply missed.

Posted by Roberto on 04/28/2010

It doesnt really matter who they take, they or england are probably going to win the world cup, and all of you "managers" will be celebrating whatever Dunga did or criticizing for what he didnt do........ Its just footie.... enjoy the game.

Posted by furnaccio on 04/28/2010

the problem with pato is that he effed up with dunga from a poor olympic performance. Up until then he was the up and coming striker for the NT and he did nothing in that tournament and there was also an incidence where the youngster mouthed off at dunga and you just don't do that when you're 18 years old and just scratching the surface with the NT.

ronaldinho-since 06 has done little to stay on top of his game and even though he's still a top 50/75 player in the world-that's a big drop considering he was the best in the world prior to 2006. at his age-he should be more of a leader and he failed miserably when he captained the olympic team as his focus was more on partying in the olympic village. his attitude and off-field antics have hurt him more at this point in his career.

diego-has no business on the NT, he has failed to impress anytime i have seen him play on the NT.

neymar/ganso - post '10 we will see them play for the NT along with douglas costa, david luiz, etc.

Posted by Thato on 04/28/2010

brazil have great forwards at their disposal, like adriano and fabiano, but for me they both offer the same options for dunga, so the surprise inclusion of neymar would offer a different dimension to the team, but not as a starter. just imagine having a fully fit, hungry, explosive and skilfull neymar running at difenders in the second half

Posted by musa argungu on 04/29/2010

I think the inclusion of attacker Nilmar will also boost your goal scoring.

2010 world cup is going to be too top, so selection on merit is the only solution.

I wish u good luck.

Posted by Barry on 04/29/2010

I think Dunga is stupid person if he dosen't take Ronaldinho to South Africa.There is no way on earth that Robinho who did nothing in Spain nor England should be going,not to mention Diego playing for struggling Juve,Batista can't even get a play for a mediocre Roma and Ela noooooo ! enough said.No team would be remotely interested in man marking or double teaming any of them because they don't command that type of respect.I'll put all three together and still not better than RONALDINHO.I hope it is not foolish pride but DUNG A needs to get over himself real quick.

Posted by adolphus zelee on 04/29/2010

I think coach should consider adding neymar paolo henrique to his squad.I have been closely watching these two players from the under 17 world cup.They are very talented! As for neymar,he's skillful,knows how to score goals; he can dribble and he's young and has speed.pauolo henrique is a good left-footed player who coach dunga can make use of on left side in the world.

Posted by Darin Selecao 5 on 05/09/2010

At the 1994 world cup the then Brazilian coach was criticized for his taking away of the beautiful game. At the 2002 world cup the then coach was also criticized. However, brazil won those two world cups making them 5 time champions. Dunga has the correct mix of players and tactics..yes he has taken a lot away from the beautiful game but he has added something else as well..Success!!! I like watching Brasil play and of recently they look less attractive..but i like watching them win more than watching them loose pretty...Dunga and Brazil will win the world doubt in my mind

Posted by edwin medz on 05/11/2010

it will be so reasonable for dunga as head coach of brazil to include ronaldinho in his squad to south africa,his magic might result to ripe fruites to brazilian funs and nation as well';;;;".

Posted by Rome on 05/12/2010

Dunga is fucken stupid!

Posted by Anonymous on 05/16/2010

for me ronaldihno is the best play, he knws how to protect the ball he has good ballcontrol, his passes are exellent,i recall the tym AC play against manchester united his combination with pato was so extremely good.i think he deserve to be in south africa next month.

Posted by Joao on 05/19/2010

Dunga is justified in his decisions. This is a TEAM not 11 individuals and most of the time the best players do not make the best team. The team he selected won the copa america, the confederations cup and finished atop the south america qualifying. He doesn't have to please anyone with the style of football, his job is to WIN. If he wins the world cup with a coherent team no one will be complaining, except for those critics who say that Brasil no longer plays the beautiful game. If anyone truly studied Brasil's national team then you would realize that they haven't played beautiful football since the 1982 world cup. The failure to win the world cup haunted the Brazilans to the point of changing tatics in attempt to end the world cup drought. Subsquent successes in 1994 and 2002 proved that team cohesion is more important in attaining success than playing beautiful football. Playing beautiful football wins plaudits but not neccesraily trophies as the dutch and german teams prove

Posted by mp on 05/27/2010

I think Dunga has got it right. He needs a hard working team to chase the ball when not in control and use that ball in attack with the likes of Kaka. I think Brasil will do well as they did in the Confed. cup. Good Luck.

Posted by Oseh Jeffrey Onuoma on 06/01/2010

Dunga has started perfectly well.All the players in a country can not go to the world cup.He used this players to execute the COPA AMERICA and the confederation cup which they won andeven top their group during the qualification.He should be left alone to concentrate on his job.

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Gustavo Faldon is a Brazilian football fanatic and has lived the emotions of celebrating two World Cup titles as a fan. This time, he is celebrating the World Cup as a journalist that is working for ESPN's website in Brazil.

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