Brazil Expected to Leave Ronaldinho off 2012 London Olympic Roster

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IMay 11, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 05:  Ronaldinho of Brazil looks on during the International friendly match between Brazil and Ghana at Craven Cottage on September 5, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

The 2012 London Olympics will be Mano Menezes' first Olympic experience as manager of Brazil, and he is expected to leave former star Ronaldinho off the roster for the summer games, according to an AP report via

Ronaldinho was not chosen by Menezes for the team's upcoming international friendlies over the next few weeks, making it unlikely that the Flamengo star will make the Olympic roster. Brazil has matchups lined up with Denmark on May 26, the United States on May 30, Mexico on June 3 and Argentina on June 9.

According to the AP, Menezes said it's not likely that he will make many changes to the 23-man squad he has chosen for the upcoming friendlies.

"If things are not going well, you make a change," Menezes said. "But you have to respect Ronaldinho, he is a world champion. He is they type of player who can rebound and surprise everyone."

The exclusion of Ronaldinho is not a surprise by any means, as he has had poor run in form in domestic league play and is not going to be part of the country's future in any major tournaments.

It's unlikely that he will feature in the 2014 World Cup squad, even though the competition will take place in Brazil.

Ronaldinho is still a quality talent, but in the Olympics you can only take three players older than 23 years of age, so as to not impinge on the prestige of the World Cup.

Brazil has several players above that age limit who would offer more to the squad than Ronaldinho, such as star defenders Thiago Silva and Dani Alves, both of whom are safe bets to make the 2014 World Cup team.

Ronaldinho is one of the best soccer players ever, but at age 32, he's not the elite talent he once was. If injuries create an opening on the roster, it wouldn't be surprising to see the former Barcelona star come back onto the Brazil squad.

Right now, however, there are better attacking players who give Menezes' team a better chance to score goals and win the gold medal in London.