Menezes banks on local crop

Menezes banks on local crop

Belém : Brazil | Sep 22, 2011 at 8:37 PM PDT
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Brazil vs Ghana (1-0) Full Highlights Friendly 2011 - All Goal And Highlights

Stars Neymar and Ronaldinho will take part in all three of Brazil’s upcoming friendlies against Argentina, Costa Rica and Mexico.

Coach Mano Menezes has opted for a squad of home-based players for next week’s game against arch rivals Argentina in Belem.

Neymar will be partnered upfront by Santos teammate Borges, who has been called up to the national team for the first time.

Two men missing from Menezes’ squad are Internacional forward Leandro Damiao and Milan’s Alexandre Pato.

Damiao is the most prolific scorer in Brazilian football this season but misses out after picking up a muscle injury in Brazilian Serie A action on Wednesday.

Brazil’s European-based contingent will join the squad for October’s friendlies, with Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto and Porto striker Kleber selected in the team, while Lazio’s Hernanes earns a recall.

“We simultaneously lost Pato and Damiao due to injuries,” Menezes said. “They were players in use, but this is part of a work in progress – we will have losses, injuries, absences and we will have to find solutions.”

Despite failing to inspire Brazil to victory over Argentina in last week’s goalless draw in Cordoba, Flamengo’s Ronaldinho retains his place in the squad.

Menezes is hoping for better results in the upcoming clash, but says he is more concerned with building a team for the future.

“We are lacking more positive results, but this is not about the outcomes against Argentina, against this or that team,” he said.

“When you still cannot beat the best squads, it is clear that you are not yet on their level. And that’s why you have a hard time to win, because they are better in some moments.”

Brazil and Argentina will meet on September 28 for the second leg of the Super Clasico friendly.

Brazil then play Costa Rica in San Jose on October 7, followed by a meeting with Mexico in Torreon on October 11.

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Neymar listens to a question during a press conference in Santos, Brazil
Neymar listens to a question during a press conference in Santos, Brazil
Ezio-Altair is based in Islamabad, Federal Capital Area, Pakistan, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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