Ronaldinho lacks ‘dedication’ for World Cup

Rio de Janeiro, March 23: Brazil assistant coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said Ronaldinho lacked the “dedication” needed for an international recall ahead of this year’s World Cup.

Ronaldinho, 34, has not played for the Selecao since April 2013 and is struggling to recapture his best form for Atletico Mineiro this year, Xinhua reported citing a Brazilian newspaper Sunday.

“It isn’t that he has lost his focus, he just hasn’t been able to continue his career in the way that is needed to play with the Selecao with complete and total dedication,” said Parreira.

Parreira, who coached Brazil to victory at the 1994 World Cup in the USA, said the door was not shut on Ronaldinho’s World Cup hopes.

The 71-year-old suggested the two-time FIFA world player of the year’s chances of being selected for the June 12-July 13 tournament depend as much on attitude as form.

“I think that for a national team that is preparing for a World Cup you need a little more desire and disposition. I don’t think he has lost that, but when he had the opportunity [last year] we didn’t see it. It hasn’t been clear that the fire is still there. He has had opportunities, now it’s up to us to decide whether or not to take him.”

Meanwhile, Parreira denied concern at the lack of starting opportunities for Selecao regulars Neymar and David Luiz at their respective clubs Barcelona and Chelsea in recent weeks.

“They are being saved for us,” Parreira said. “It’s very tiring to have to play until the Champions League final. If a Champions League team that has Brazilian players gets knocked out of the tournament, I’m not going to be too upset.”

IANS