Kaka recalled by Brazil after two-year absence
Former World Player of the Year Kaka is set to play his first match for Brazil in more than two years after being recalled on Thursday for next month’s friendlies.
The Real Madrid player, plagued by injuries over the last few seasons, was included in the squad for games against Iraq in Sweden on October 11 and Japan in Poland five days later.
He has not played for his country since the 2-1 defeat by the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final.
It is the second time Kaka has been called up by coach Mano Menezes, who replaced Dunga after the World Cup in South Africa,
but last year he had to drop out through injury and missed the matches against Gabon and Egypt.
The 30-year-old, who made his debut for Brazil in 2002, has 82 caps and played at the last three World Cups.
“We have been following his progress,” Menezes told reporters. “In terms of training, of dedication, the standard which he has reached gives us hope that he will play well when he is picked for Brazil.”
“It’s important to have players with this type of career and experience... I think he is going to confirm what we have been hearing, that he is getting better.”
Menezes did not see a problem combining Kaka with Oscar in midfield.
“Kaka has been working in a more advanced position on the pitch,” he said. “It’s not exactly the same role which Oscar plays in the national team. We will field the two together in at least one of the two games.”
There was still no place in the squad for Lazio midfielder Hernanes, one of the most creative midfielders in Serie A.
Menezes is rebuilding the team for the 2014 World Cup, which Brazil will host, and is trying to move away from the counter-attacking style developed under Dunga.
He is still under pressure after the under-23 side, which he also coaches, missed out on the Olympic gold medal in London after losing to Mexico in the final, but said his team would be ready for the 2014 tournament.
The coach was jeered in recent friendlies at home to South Africa in Sao Paulo and Argentina in Goiania, even though Brazil won both games.
“The team is consolidating itself with results, although they have been accompanied by great performances because it’s not possible to have them,” he said. “We are still not ready for great conquests but we will be.”
Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Diego Alves (Valencia) Victor (Atletico Mineiro)
Defenders: Adriano, Daniel Alves (both Barcelona), Alexsandro (Porto), Marcelo (Real Madrid), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dede (Vasco da Gama), Leandro Castan (AS Roma), Thiago Silva (Paris St Germain)
Midfielders: Fernando (Gremio), Paulinho (Corinthians), Giuliano (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Ramires, Oscar (both Chelsea), Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur), Kaka (Real Madrid), Lucas (Sao Paulo), Thiago Neves (Fluminense)
Forwards: Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg), Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Neymar (Santos)