Rio de Janeiro, April 3 (IANS) Ronaldinho says his recall to Brazil’s national team has given him renewed motivation to be a part of the country’s 2014 World Cup squad.
The two-time FIFA world player of the year was named by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari in an 18-man squad to face Bolivia in a friendly Saturday, reports Xinhua.
His inclusion comes after he was left out of Brazil’s friendlies against Russia and Italy last month.
“I am very happy that the coach has noticed my form and that my hard work is being recognised,” said Ronaldinho, who was a member of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning team during Scolari’s first spell in charge.
The 33-year-old won in December the Bola de Ouro awarded for the best player in Brazil’s Serie A championship.
He has continued his impressive form this season, leading Atletico Mineiro to four wins from as many matches in the Copa Libertadores, South America’s version of the Champions League.
“This is important and has given me more motivation,” the former Barcelona and AC Milan star said. “My aim is to maintain my club form and make the most of this opportunity.”
Scolari also named former AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato, who has recovered from a series of leg injuries to score five goals since his 15-million-euro move to Corinthians from AC Milan in January.
“I have to thank Corinthians for helping me gain this opportunity to play for my country again,” Pato said.
Internacional striker Leandro Damiao, Brazil’s leading scorer at the 2012 London Olympics with six goals, and Santos star Neymar have also been included.