Santa Cruz (Bolivia), April 7 (IANS) Santos striker Neymar and former AC Milan midfielder Ronaldinho starred in Brazil’s 4-0 demolition of Bolivia in a football friendly international here.
Neymar struck two first-half goals Saturday while Internacional’s Leandro Damiao and Palmeiras frontman Leandro also scored in the match, which featured South American-based players only, reports Xinhua.
Proceeds from the fixture were donated to the family of Kevin Beltran Espada, a 14-year-old football fan who died when he was struck by a flare during a Copa Libertadores match in February.
Two-time FIFA world player of the year Ronaldinho, given the captain’s armband by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, revelled in a free-roaming playmaker role. He narrowly missed two early scoring chances and set up Neymar’s first goal with a deft flick.
“The coach told me to do exactly what I do for Atletico Mineiro,” Ronaldinho said after the match. “I’m in great shape and feel like I’m playing well.”
When asked if he had approached the match as a selection trial for June’s Confederations Cup, Ronaldinho replied: “In football we are always being tested. My aim is to take my good club form with me into these matches.”
Brazil’s next clash will be against Chile at the refurbished Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte April 21.
Like the Bolivia duel, the friendly will feature South American-based players only due to it not being on an official FIFA date.