Dunga praises Ronaldo but won’t confirm return to Brazil team

May 8th, 2009 - 1:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Sao Paulo, May 8 (DPA) Brazil coach Carlos Dunga praised the recent form of the veteran striker Ronaldo, but refused to say whether the forward would return to the national team.
“You will have to wait till May 21,” Dunga said.

Dunga is expected to give his list for the South American World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay and for the Confederations Cup May 21.

However, Dunga made it clear that he is impressed with Ronaldo’s comeback, a day after the striker scored a brace in Corinthians’ 2-0 win over Atletico Paranaense.

“Ronaldo never stopped scoring goals, and he can still evolve. He had not been able to play in 10 consecutive games since 2006,” Dunga noted.

In turn, Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) President Ricardo Teixeira tried to dispel Thursday’s rumours that the CBF was vetoing Ronaldo’s return to the national team after Brazil’s failed campaign in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

“The door to the national team is always open for Ronaldo, who is going through a good technical moment,” Teixeira noted.

However, he stressed the decision is up to the coach.

According to Brazilian sports analysts, the brace he scored late Wednesday got Ronaldo even closer to the national team.

Since he returned to football over one year ago after undergoing knee surgery, the striker played 13 games for Corinthians and scored 10 goals.

Moreover, nine of his 10 goals were decisive for Corinthians to win games. The popular Brazilian club won the Sao Paulo state championship last week.

According to Brazilian commentators, that performance makes it virtually impossible for Dunga to keep Ronaldo off the national team.

The striker himself remained cautious.

“Someone has to score the goals. By chance, it’s me. I think goals get too much attention, you have to look at the whole team,” Ronaldo said.

Corinthians coach Mano Menezes also praised his star.

“His goal average is like that of the country’s best strikers, and you would expect him to have greater difficulty, since he has only just come back,” Menezes noted.

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