Fernandinho a surprise pick for Brazil's friendly vs. South Africa
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho was the surprise pick in the Brazil squad for its final friendly before the World Cup squad is announced.
Neymar, Oscar, Ramires, Willian, David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Hulk made the list as expected, but former stars Kaka and Robinho were left out by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. Kaka hasn't played for Brazil since March, but AC Milan teammate Robinho made the team in November.
Bayern Munich's Rafinha also came as a surprise selection among the players from international clubs announced for the match against South Africa on March 5 at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.
Scolari decided to wait until closer to the match to announce the players from Brazilian clubs because many are not in top form yet. Among the players nursing injuries and trying to get in shape in the beginning of the Brazilian season was striker Fred, who was crucial for Brazil at the Confederations Cup last year.
Scolari said he expected to pick three or four players from Brazilian clubs.
Here is the Brazil squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (QPR)
Defenders: David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Rafinha (Bayer Munich).
Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Paulinho (Tottenham), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Ramires (Chelsea), Oscar (Chelsea).
Strikers: Hulk (Zenit), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Willian (Chelsea), Neymar (Barcelona).
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