Ronaldinho targets World Cup
‘I want to prove I deserve a spot in the squad,’ says AC Milan star
Although 2009 isn’t even over, Ronaldinho has already made a New Year’s resolution: the AC Milan star wants to be play for Brazil at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Ronaldinho, who turns 30 next March, was a regular for the Brazilian national team for many years, helping the South American powerhouse win the 2002 World Cup and 2005 Confederations Cup.
But a lack of consistent form over the past two years resulted in him losing his place in the starting lineup for the Selecao.
Once considered the best player in the world, Ronaldinho has focused more on partying and his social life than on soccer, an attitude that led FC Barcelona to sell him to AC Milan, where he failed to impress last season.
Brazilian coach Dunga chose not to bring the AC Milan playmaker to South Africa in June for Confederations Cup or use him during Brazil’s final stretch of World Cup qualifying games, as he was unimpressed with his series of shoddy performances for the national team, including at last summer's Olympic tournament where he was clearly out of shape.
Recently, though, Ronaldinho has shown flashes of his old self with AC Milan, and now the former two-time FIFA world player of the year is eager to earn a spot in Brazil’s roster for next year’s World Cup in South Africa.
"The year which is about to end has been a positive one for myself and for Milan, but 2010 will be even better," Ronaldinho told Il Corriere Dello Sport, a Rome-based sports daily.
"It is true that I hope to go to the World Cup, but I don’t want to get there because of the things I say. I want to prove with my footballing ability that I deserve a spot in the squad."
Earlier this week, Dunga said the door wasn’t closed on Ronaldinho, but warned that the talented playmaker would have to continue his solid play with Milan to have a shot at being named to the national team for the World Cup.
"I have another six months to select my squad. Ronaldinho remains in my thinking. The past does not count for me. It is only about today," Dunga told La Gazzetta dello Sport.