Scolari’ only surprises weren't only the players he called up, but also the players he decided not to call, especially Felipe Melo and Kaká.
Melo was torn to sheds in Brazil after the loss to the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup Quaterfinals. If you remember, Felipe Melo scored an own goal and later was awarded a red card after he stomped Arjen Robben to the ground. After that dreaded game, he has never been called up to the Seleção again. However, his play as of late in Galatasaray had some members of the Brazilian media feeling like it was time for the midfielder to come back.
Kaká is the complete opposite. He was exempted from fault after Brazil’s loss in the World Cup and even got some nods to the Brazilian national squad in the previous years, including three of the last five matches. However, the 2007 recipient of the Ballon d’Or was struggling in his club, Real Madrid, collided with José Mourinho and is rumored to be leaving for AC Milan.
Instead of Melo and Kaká, though, Scolari decided to go with Ramires, Paulinho, Oscar and Ronaldinho.
The three first names are not really shockers, as their faces are now constants in Brazil’s games. Ronaldinho, though, is probably the biggest story line of Scolari’s list.
We all know what Ronaldinho has done in the past. It is his recent shortcomings that makes us all afraid—and confused.
Ronaldinho has failed to compete at the same brilliant level he did in Barcelona since the 2005 season, failing to score in the 2006 World Cup and being left out of the 2010 edition. Due to those shortcomings, he was not called up to the national squad with the frequency one would expect from him. Even worse, most Brazilian fans are fed up with the player’s antics and attitude, and simply want to see him eradicated from the national squad forever.
But, he did surprise every one last year with great (and surprising) performances for Atlético Mineiro, leading the team from Minas Gerais to second place in the Brasileirão and a Libertadores bid.
Scolari already rejuvenated the career of one Ronaldo: the phenomenon, when he called up the star to the 2002 World Cup despite his near-career-ending injuries. Could he be about to do the same with the three-time Ballon d’Or winner? The path starts on February 6 in Wembley Stadium.