Ronaldinho, Kaka battle for World Cup spot

Rio de Janeiro, April 23 (IANS) Former FIFA World Player of the Year winners Ronaldinho and Kaka are unlikely to play together at the 2014 World Cup, according to Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Both have been called up by Scolari for international friendlies this year but neither has convinced the 64-year-old manager, reports Xinhua.

Ronaldinho, 33, has been named in Brazil’s squad to face Chile in Belo Horizonte Wednesday, a match that will feature South American-based players only.

“There is a 90 percent chance that they won’t play together,” Scolari said Monday.

“I have given chances to both of them and I will give one more chance to Ronaldinho Wednesday. I didn’t have the chance to play them together in our recent friendlies because of the different situations that they are both in. It’s probable that I will take one and not the other.”

The pair are the only remaining survivors from Scolari’s team that won the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

Kaka, 31, has struggled for form since joining Real Madrid in 2009 while Ronaldinho last year resurrected his career with Atletico Mineiro by being named player of the season in Brazil’s Serie A championship.

Scolari also said he was looking to add at least one defensive midfielder to his preferred starting formation.

Among his current defensive midfield options are Ramires (Cheslea), Paulinho (Corinthians), Fernando (Gremio), Jean (Fluminense), Ralf (Corinthians) and Hernanes (Lazio).

“This idea of having goalscoring central midfielders sounds really nice to the media. And it is nice. But not for the coach,” Scolari said.

“When you have full-backs like Daniel Alves and Marcelo you need to have protection.”

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