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Dunga picks Ronaldinho for Brazil's friendly against Italy

AC Milan midfielder Ronaldinho is back on Brazil's national team after missing three consecutive matches.

Ronaldinho was among 22 players picked by coach Dunga for the February 10 friendly against Italy at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in London.

Milan teammates Kaka and Alexandre Pato also were included in the roster for Brazil's first match of the year, as were Inter Milan's Adriano and Manchester City's Robinho.

Ronaldinho was not summoned by Dunga for Brazil's last three matches -- a friendly against Portugal and World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Venezuela. Dunga had said the player still needed to improve his form.

"We knew we would be able to count with him after he got to play more matches with Milan," Dunga said.

Dunga only called players from European teams because the Brazilian regional tournaments will be under way in February.

Left off the list were Inter Milan midfielder Mancini, Werder Bremen playmaker Diego and Juventus striker Amaury, who also has Italian citizenship and recently has been linked to Italy's national team.

"Amaury is a great player, but everyone has to wait for the right moment," Dunga said. "He did not perform well in his last two matches and we think that the match against Italy would add too much pressure on him."

The biggest surprise on Dunga's squad was Fiorentina midfielder Felipe Melo, who is earning his first call for the national team.

"It's a player we have been observing for quite some time," Dunga said. "It's an opportunity to look at him from up close."

Brazil and Italy have faced each other 12 times, with each nation winning five matches and drawing twice.

"Italy is an opponent which deserves respect because of its tradition and the quality of its players," Dunga said. "Any match against them is like a final."


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