Kaka set to make long-awaited return for Brazil

Saturday, 29 October 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters): Kaka has been recalled by Brazil for the first time since last year’s World Cup in South Africa for friendlies against Gabon and Egypt next month.

The Real Madrid midfielder has come back into form in La Liga after being plagued by injuries and has not played for Brazil since their quarter-final exit at the World Cup.

“I always said (Kaka’s) return would depend on his production, his performances as they have been occurring for Real Madrid. We’re very happy with his return,” coach Mano Menezes told reporters on Thursday.

“I think of Kaka as I do of Ronaldinho. We need players of their experience in the national team... now he’s at the level we want him to be,” he said after naming a 23-man squad.

“That doesn’t mean he’s already done enough but you have more confidence in him being able to produce more and more at the highest level.”

The squad is made up solely of players based abroad so as not to disrupt home teams in the run-in to the Brazilian championship.

Flamengo’s Ronaldinho and Neymar of Santos, who have become automatic choices for Menezes, were left out after the Brazilian Football Confederation and Menezes accepted local clubs’ requests to be spared call-ups for their top players.

Brazil, the 2014 World Cup hosts, are making the most of FIFA dates when South America’s other countries have World Cup qualifiers. They meet Gabon in Libreville on Nov. 10 and Egypt in Doha four days later.

Goalkeepers: Neto (Fiorentina), Diego Alves (Valencia)

Defenders: Marcelo (Real Madrid), Daniel Alves, Adriano (both Barcelona), Alex Sandro (Porto), Fabio (Manchester United), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), David Luiz (Chelsea), Luisao (Benfica)

Midfielders: Dudu (Dynamo Kiev), Elias (Sporting, Portugal), Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk), Hernanes (Lazio), Kaka (Real Madrid), Lucas Leiva (Liverpool), Luiz Gustavo (Bayern Munich), Sandro (Tottenham), Bruno Casar (Benfica)

Forwards: Willian (Shakhtar Donetsk), Jonas (Valencia), Kleber, Hulk (both Porto)